"Growing trees is as much an art as it is a science." - Becky Thomas
"When you plant a tree, you plant a legacy," - Pepper Provanzano
"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fall is a perfect time for planting, and in the nursery we planted a few new crops last week. Our new evergreen crop is in the ground and off to a great start. Be looking for our future crop of Norway Spruce, White Pine, Black Hills Spruce and Vanderwolf’s Pyramid Pine in a few years!

We also planted our grass strips to help protect our soil. The strips are in between the tree rows and allow our soil to stay covered and in place during our growing process. We like to fall plant our grass strips so that we get a thick healthy grass stand with minimal weeds. This practice also helps reduce soil erosion and uses minimal tillage. It also allows us the ability to avoid using pre-emergent herbicides. We are proud to pass on healthy soils to the next generation!

Fall is a perfect time to plant for the future!

Evergreen Planting

Our cover crop of soybeans was harvested the other day in the nursery.  We use soybeans as our cover crop on areas in our field while the land is in between tree crops. The soybeans help add nitrogen back into the soil while holding our soil in place during the season as protection from wind & water erosion. Caring for our soil is a top priority at the nursery. 

As we have mentioned before, Becky is the 5th generation on our family farm. We have kept our farms productive & healthy for so long by taking the utmost care of our soil. Becky’s Dad, Doug Harford, was one of the first farmers in the US to implement no-till farm management into his corn & soybean operation. Through years of no-till farming, our soil has become naturally porous & rich in organic matter.

By using cover crops & minimal tillage in the nursery, we can continue the legacy of conservation started many years ago on our land. We also use grass strips between the trees rows for the years of production the trees are here. That practice also helps reduce soil erosion and uses minimal tillage. It also allows us the ability to avoid using pre-emergent herbicides as well. We are proud to pass on healthy soils to the next generation!

PS: Shout out to Becky’s brother, Chris Harford for planting & harvesting our soybeans. Thanks Bro!

 

Soybean Harvest

Spring Grove Nursery is excited to welcome HOPE Students to the nursery Oct 17! We just set up the agenda for the day and will have lots of hands on opportunities for students to learn about tree production from start to finish. Hoping for some great weather & lots of questions!
HOPE Flyer

We are proud to be hosting the IGIA H.O.P.E Program students to our nursery on October 17! The program is making a resurgence this year after a hiatus of several years in the green industry. The mission of the program is to “provide students with an opportunity to experience the Illinois Green Industry with a “hands-on” approach, demonstrating the potential career opportunities that exist within the field of Horticulture.” Read more about HOPE here: IGIA HOPE PROGRAM

We are excited to welcome students and help kick off a new season for the HOPE program in Illinois. Let’s get to work!

HOPE

 

We have been busy counting & measuring out in the field and we are pleased to report that the numbers don’t lie… we have a great crop of trees ready to plug in to your fall or spring equations!  We found terrific growth in the field on many varieties. But at the same time, the demand for trees has grown tremendously as well, so now is the time to get your orders for both Fall 2018 & Spring 2019 in!

Please take a look at our new Fall 2018 Availability as you make your upcoming tree project plans. If you send us a list of trees you are looking for this fall or next spring, we will compare with our field numbers right away so that you can secure the trees you need.  We also have a healthy selection of trees above ground ready to go right now. We dug extra trees this spring not readily available from the field in the fall such as Birch, Red Maples, Redbud, Hawthorn, Oaks, Pear, Bald Cypress etc. Those trees look great & can be used in your fall projects!

Please join us here in the field anytime for a first-hand look at how well our trees are adding up here at the nursery!

Counts--Measures.091840

While on vacation out west this summer, we were able to stop in for a visit to one of our favorite suppliers J. Frank Schmidt Nursery near Portland, Oregon.

It’s always a treat to see our next crops of trees in the beginning stages. Everything looks beautiful & innovative as always in their fields. Thanks Nancy Buley & Sam Doane for the awesome tour!

Redpointe Red Maples for next season
Redpointe Red Maples for next season
 
 
Mt. Hood beautifully in the distance!
Mt. Hood beautifully in the distance!
Root bag grown Oaks
Root bag grown Oaks
Root pouch grown Chinkapin Oaks for 2020
Root pouch grown Chinkapin Oaks for 2020
Root bag grown Oaks for 2019
Root bag grown Oaks for 2019
Jamie & Becky at J. Frank Schmidt Nursery
Jamie & Becky at J. Frank Schmidt Nursery
 

What a beautiful summer it has been in the nursery. The weather has been perfect for growing trees – timely rains, nice temps, plenty of sunshine… our fields looks great! Most of our initial pruning work is done. We are going back now and putting the finishing touches on some blocks of trees for future crops.

We have started our new fall inventory counts & measures. So far we are happy with what we are finding in the field. After we bring all of the numbers back from the field into the office, we can make our production decisions of which blocks to dig for this fall versus next spring. Our final field availability will be ready in a few weeks, and we will be ready to take some more fall or spring orders!

In the Above Ground Holding Yard the trees are still looking great! We have a diverse selection of trees available including several spring dig only trees like Oaks, Red Maples, Birch, Hornbeam, Dawn Redwood, Baldcypress, Redbud, etc. Everything is fresh and ready to go for fall planting projects.

Right now is a perfect time to visit the nursery. The weather is great, the trees look fantastic, and there still might be a little sweet corn hanging around! Please stop by anytime and we can show you what we have growing for you at Spring Grove Nursery!

Fall Visit 2018

The IGIA Summer Conference Retreat to Galena was a lovely few days! Several members made the trip to the rolling hills of northern Illinois for some fun in the sun, on the golf course and at a local winery. At the annual meeting current IGIA President Becky Thomas passed on the gavel to the new President Steve Worth from Kankakee Nursery. Becky now joins the ranks of outstanding Past Presidents at IGIA!

Everyone had a great time and we are already looking forward to next summer!

New IGIA President Steve Worth
New IGIA President Steve Worth
IGIA Past Presidents
IGIA Past Presidents
Fun on the lake!
Fun on the lake!
Beautiful vines at the winery!
Beautiful vines at the winery!
Becky Thomas & Laurie Damgaard at Galena Cellars
Becky Thomas & Laurie Damgaard at Galena Cellars
Gorgeous views at the winery
Gorgeous views at the winery
Outgoing IGIA President Becky Thomas & her best supporter Jamie Thomas
Outgoing IGIA President Becky Thomas & her best supporter Jamie Thomas
Lovely Italian dinner out with friends
Lovely Italian dinner out with friends

The nursery is growing along nicely as the summer sets in! Timely rains coupled with some good heat help the trees push along on their new growth.  Our summer field work of pruning & staking is going well. We are very happy with the structure & growth that is coming on our new crop of trees in the field.  This time of year we start to get caught up on our spraying, cultivating & mowing. The nursery is starting to take shape and it’s nice to see the fields looking healthy & clean!

Pictured here are some State Street Maples coming on for next year. The crops in the field have never looked better. We are very excited about what we will find when we start a new count & measure in August!

We welcome you to stop by the nursery for a visit. It’s a great time of year to see the trees we have growing for the future!

State Street Maple
State Street Maple