"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

Roots-to-RealityThe Ornamental Grower’s Association is proud to present “Roots to Reality” as part of the education track at the iLandscape Show. As an OGA member & grower, Becky Thomas will be moderating this exciting panel of experts from around the Green Industry.

“Diversity” in the Green Industry is a hot button topic right now. But it doesn’t only apply to plants. The Green Industry is unique in that the different segments of our profession each add their own “diverse” part of the process. When a project comes together successfully in the end, the result is a beautiful & thriving landscape.  But how do we get from Point A to Point B? How do the different parts of our industry work together to make plants that flourish. What works, what doesn’t? 

As a member of the Ornamental Grower’s Association we are excited to host this “diverse” panel of experts who each specialize in bringing quality plants successfully into quality landscapes. Join our panelists:

  • Researcher Kris Bachtell, Morton Arboretum
  • Liner Grower Guy Meacham, J. Frank Schmidt Nursery
  • OGA Grower Laurie Damgaard, Kaneville Tree Farms
  • Forester Peter Gordon, City of Lake Forest
  • Principal/Horticulturalist John Evans, Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects
  • Moderator Becky Thomas, Spring Grove Nursery

We look forward to bringing you a lively discussion on how all of these diverse specialties work together to create plants the thrive in our landscape.

iLandscape-2016Winter is a great time to visit our nursery.  You can see the structure on our trees & have first pick of our new spring dig selection.  We encourage you to stop by anytime!

We also look forward to network & education opportunities in the winter.  We will have a booth this year at the iLandscape Show Feb 3-5 in Schaumburg.  Please stop by & visit us at booth #224.

A great educational opportunity during iLandscape is the OGA (Ornamental Growers Association of Northern IL) presentation “Roots to Reality” on Feb 4 from 2:45-4:15pm. You can read more about it below. Please join us!

Also during iLansdcape is the Chuck Tosvosky Annual Tribute Dinner. On Feb 2, we will be honoring Gary Knosher from Midwest Groundcovers. The dinner will benefit Green Industry Lobbying Efforts – Abbington Banquet Hall, Glen Ellyn.

We hope to see you at some of these events this winter or at the nursery. We welcome the opportunity to work with you this season!

Spring is just around the c2016 Catalog Coverorner here at the nursery! The baskets & burlap have been ordered, trees are getting tagged in the field, catalogs are going out in the mail, and the equipment is all tuned up & ready to go!

Our target week to start digging, weather permitting, is the week of MARCH 14. Now is the time to get your spring orders in so that we can dig them in a timely manner & have them ready when you need them.  Please call or email so that we can get your trees tagged & on the dig list.

Our new 2016 WHOLESALE CATALOG will be mailed out soon.  All existing customers will receive one in the mail.  If you would like one, please let us know.

We are looking forward to a great season for 2016 at the nursery, and we are proud to have great trees & customers to work with every day!

 

From our family to yours… we hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and a very healthy & happy new year!

We would like to thank all our customers for choosing us as their grower this past year. We really appreciate the trust you have placed in us, and we value your friendship & loyalty.  In addition, we would like to thank our suppliers & business associates for their support & expertise. We are very lucky to work with such great partners in the Green Industry!

 

We were lucky to get out to Oregon at the beginning of December to visit our supplier nurseries! We had great tours at J. Frank Schmidt Nursery, Carlton Plants, Robinson Nursery, & Kuenzi Nursery. It was exciting to get out into their fields for a change & see what is coming on and soon to be shipped to us in the coming years.

Our tour at J. Frank Schmidt was, as always, top notch! We got to tour both of their farms at Hood Acres & Barlow. At Hood acres, we were shown their propagation facility, seedling beds, greenhouses, container yard, B&B fields, and some liner fields as well. We even got to take a rainy stroll through the Schmidt Family Arboretum. Thanks to Nancy Buley & David Sheline for an excellent tour & hospitality! We took some great video which we will share soon in another post. 

We value our relationship with Schmidt because they are really the leaders in new varietal development. We got to see many of these new trees in production at the Barlow farm to the south. Frank Jr. & Derek gave us the grand tour of the farm and showed us many new vareities in the pipeline at Schmidt. We got to see first hand some digging & grading. Many of those trees will be coming our way in March 2016.  Thanks to all the folks at J. Frank Schmidt Nursery for some great tours!

Our time at Carlton Plants was equally impressive! Jason Bizon gave us an excellent tour of their tissue culture lab and their fields. This was our first tour of their new lab, and it was a real treat to see. We learned so much, and we were very impressed with the overall vision of Carlton Plants to make the investment in that area of their operation.  We also got out into their field to see many of our trees in various stages of growth. They too were in the middle of digging & grading. We learned about their grading standards & saw first hand the attention to detail that Carlton Plants is so well know for.  Thanks Jason, Jon, & Michelle for your time & hospitality while we were at Carlton!

At Robinson Nusery, we got to see their nursery in action as well. They have a great line of container trees grown in air pots. Ther trees get an excellent root system on them. We were happy to see a new line of some larger trees in the works for the future. They treated us to a great lunch at one of their favorite local spots. Thanks Josh & Chris for your gracious hospitality!

Myron Kuenzi was a great host at Kuenzi Turf & Nursery. Myron has a terrific product line of trees grown in root bags. We have had great success with his trees here in our field. After going through his nursery, we know why. He has a great growing method & obviously knows how to produce a quality tree – on top & below the ground! 

Other nursery highlights were a tour of Northwest Shade Trees by Martin. What a fantastic nursery! They grow finished trees similar to ours. We were able to see many of the J. Frank Schmidt varieties in a larger size there so it was a valuable learning experience for us. Plus Martin is an excellent grower, so we had much to learn from him as well. Thanks Martin for taking some time out of your busy day to show us your fields!

Just to highlight what everyone really wants to know… here are some upcoming trees we discovered on our travels & are thinking about adding to our mix:  Swedish Columnar Aspen, Starlight Crabapple, Purple Spire Crabapple, Main Street Maple, Sensation Maple, Green Whistper Bald Cypress, Javelin Pear, Metro Gold Maple… just a few new ones that caught our eye!

While in Oregon, we had to take advantage of some of the sights. We had a few fun days in Portland while also finding time to get out of the city & into the landscape. We hiked around the Columbia River Gorge area & took in the many beautiful sights & waterfalls there! We also made our way out to the coast for a windy & rainy view of the Pacific. Oregon is a beautiful state & we would recommend a visit!

Overall, our visit to our partner nurseries in Oregon was an invaluable experience for us. We came away from the trip with the sastisfaction of knowing that we have partnered with some great people in this businesses. The nurseries that we work with are top-notch. Their quality is the best there is in this business. But as with any business, they are only as good as the people who run them. Besides being excellent growers, all of our partners are great people with great employees. Many of the people we met on our tours have been with these nurseries for their whole career. That really says alot about the quality of these companies – quality plants & quality people. We are blessed to be in the business of growing trees, but we are even more blessed to grow some great relationships with awesome people!

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We had an exciting day a few weeks ago on our family farm!

A delegation from Taiwan came with both the IL Soybean & Corn Associations to tour our farm. In addition to our nursery, Becky’s family has a corn & soybean operation operated by her brother.

We hosted the delegation of about 50 Taiwanese for a farm tour & lunch.  Afterwards Governor Rauner came to sign a trade agreement between the state of Illiniois & Taiwan government.

Although the Governor wasn’t there to talk about trees, it was still a unique experience for the nursery. It was great day for Illinois farm families, especially ours!

RaunerVisit

Fall digging will be in full swing next week! The evergreen digging will wrap up mid October, but deciduous digging will continue as long as the weather allows.  Now is the perfect time to get your fall order in so we can get you the trees you need in a timely manner.

We are already tagging trees for spring orders.  The tree supply will continue to be tight  this next season, so we encourage you to place your orders for next season as soon as possible.  Early ordering will insure we get you the size & variety you are looking for without having to substitute.

Pictured here are some Swamp White Oaks.  We think Oaks really shine in the fall. Their texture stands out in the landscape whether it’s their foliage, bark, or acorns.  Oaks are always at risk for fall digging. We dug extra in the spring so that we would have them above ground in the fall but our supply is quickly running out! Other trees at risk for fall digging are Pear, Birch, Hawthorn, & Redbud.  We have these beautiful specimens available above ground:

  • White Oak 3.5″
  • Crimson Spire Oak 4″
  • River Birch 12′
  • Thornless Cocksur Hawthorn 2.5″ & 10′
  • Aristocrat & Trinity Pear 3.0-3.5″
  • Eastern Redbud 8′

We invite you to stop by this fall for a nursery tour. It’s a great time to see the variety & texture trees offer in the fall!

 

New Fall Counts are In!

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!

Due to all of the rains earlier this season, 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 2015 & Spring 2016 in!

Please take a look at our new Fall 2015 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. 

As we mentioned above, we found some great new varieties ready ahead of schedule, and we project a few more new varieties to be ready by spring. 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, Oaks, Pear, etc. Those trees look great & can be used in your fall projects!

SGN Availability 9-1-15

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

Fall is just around the corner here at the nursery! Most of our summer projects in the field are wrapping up, and we are getting ready for a busy fall dig season.

Evergreen digging is underway & decidious digging will begin sometime in the next month as the trees go dormant. We finished our counts & measures in the field last week.  The growth in the field this summer has been great & we anticipate more caliper growth to come throughout the fall. 

We are already taking orders for Spring 2016 & we anticipate running out of many varieties quickly. Inventory is very tight in nurseries across the Midwest and will be for the next few years.  Now is the time to plan ahead for your Fall 2015 or Spring 2016 projects!

We have more new varieties coming online for this fall & next spring. Autumn Fantasy Maple, Little Twist Cherry, Urban Pinnacle Oak, Streetspire Oak, Spring Flurry Serviceberry, Turkish Fibert, Hardy Rubber Tree, Showtime Crabapple, & American Dream Oak are just a few of the new trees that will be available this fall & next spring!

During the summer, we had a nice visit with Roger Purcell (midwest sales rep) & Nick Overall (sales manager) from J. Frank Schmidt Nursery, one of our liner suppliers from Oregon. Nick was visiting Midwest nurseries to see how their trees looked in our fields. In this pic, they are standing with Jamie by an upcoming crop of American Dream & Streetspire Oaks. Both of those trees are Schmidt introductions (click on them for more info) & we are looking forward to digging our first ones next spring!

Fall is a great time to visit the nursery. We welcome you to come out anytime for a tour!

Schmidt-Visit