Did you know that in Illinois October is Oak Awareness Month? AKA OAKtober as designated by Gov. Bruce Rauner a few years ago. To celebrate, we would like to feature a few of our favorite new Oak hybrids here at the nursery.
For more on OAKtober, you can also check out this link from the Morton Arboretum: OAKtober
For pictures & descriptions of the Oaks we are growing here at the nursery check out our Oak Photo Gallery
American Dream Oak – Quercus bicolor ‘JFS-KW12’
50′ x 40′ – This new Swamp White Oak cultivar developed by J. Frank Schmidt Nursery was selected for strong resistance to anthracnose & powdery mildew resistance. As a grower, we love the branching consistency in the field. It also has a great shaggy bark with very glossy green leaves.
Streetspire Oak – Quercus robur x Q. alba ‘JFS-KW1QX’
45′ x 14′ – Similar to Crimson Spire Oak, it is another J. Frank Schmidt Nursery introduction. It differs in that it does not hold it’s foliage through winter. It has wider branch angles making it more storm resistant. The red fall color is another great feature of this tree.
Kindred Spirit Oak – Q. robur x Q. bicolor ‘Nadler’
30′ x 6′ – This Oak is one of the tightest columnar trees. It is a sister seedling to the Regal Prince but with a tighter form. The mildew & drought resistant features coupled with the form make it an excellent choice for narrow urban streets.
Heritage Oak – Quercus macdanielli ‘Clemons’
50′ x 40′ – The Heritage Oak has handsome dark green foliage which is very mildew resistant. It is an English and Bur Oak hybrid with excellent cold tolerance. The pyramidal form makes it a good street tree Oak.
What a great season for tree planting we had this year in the nursery! Throughout the last few weeks we were able to get a new crop planted into the nursery for the future. The liners looked beautiful & the weather cooperated well for us. Our crews worked hard and did a great job!
Some new varieties we are excited to be trying out this spring are Urban Sunset Maple, Early Glow Buckeye, Arnold Tulip Tree, Northern Splendor Black Tupelo, Swedish Columnar Aspen, Beacon Oak, Green Whisper Bald Cypress & Musashino Zelkova… just to name a few.
Last fall Becky Thomas wrote an article for ILCA magazine about a favorite All Star Plant. She chose to highlight the American Dream Oak – a new favorite of the nursery. Here is her write up on the tree:
Quercus bicolor ‘JFS-KW12’ – American Dream Oak
Who wouldn’t want to plant the American Dream into their landscape! This new Oak introduction from J. Frank Schmidt Nursery is quickly becoming one of our favorites as a grower.
We started growing this “nativar” variety of the native Swamp White Oak back in 2014 shortly after the liners were available from our supplier & developer of the tree, J. Frank Schmidt Nursery in Oregon. They praised the foliage & branching superiority of the new cultivar so we were happy to give it a try in our fields. We have been impressed with how it has grown in our field & we will be harvesting our first crop next spring.
The American Dream Oak will get 50 tall by 40’ wide. The foliage is a bright glossy green that turns to yellow in fall. The bark is similar to the species with a slightly shaggy look. What makes this cultivar distinctive from the species is the strong resistance to anthracnose & powdery mildew. It also has nice branching angles with a broadly pyramidal shape. The beautiful thick glossy foliage stays green all season, turns yellow in fall, & holds a nice brown into early winter. The texture in the landscape in all season is an asset to the plant.
You can learn more about the tree on our nursery website at www.SpringGroveNursery.com. If you search American Dream Oak on the top in our search box, several blog posts about the tree will pop up. Most recently, we had the opportunity to visit J. Frank Schmidt Nursery & tour their arboretum led by the famous plant duo Michael Dirr & Keith Warren (plant breeder who developed it). We posted a video clip of them talking about American Dream Oak. Check it out!
There is nothing more American than a beautiful old Oak tree. With this new cultivar of an old native favorite, you are sure to see the American Dream growing soon in our communities!
Here are some links to blog entries we have about American Dream Oak:
UPDATED LINKS FROM THE ILANDSCAPE PRESENTATION FEB 3, 2017
Nancy Buley, J. Frank Schmidt Nursery & Dr. Bert Cregg, Michigan State University
Current climate projections suggest that the climate of the Great Lakes Region could resemble that of present-day Oklahoma by the latter part of this century. Drought, severe heat waves, torrential rains and floods, long-lasting winter snows and other severe weather events make it clear that our changing climate demands significant changes in urban forestry planting palettes and management practices. Learn about research that is helping to identify trees that can acclimate to climate change and how to apply research to your efforts to ensure future urban forest health by selecting and growing broadly adapted, resilient trees.
PRESENTATION UPDATE: Please see the links below to details from the presentation. Dr. Bert Cregg began the talk by sharing his research about the changing climate & how trees acclimate. Nancy Buley followed up by identifying trees that J. Frank Schmidt Nursery grows which have demonstrated successful acclimation in the landscape. Nancy highlighted 34 trees they have selected as superior for our changing climate in the Midwest. At Spring Grove Nursery, we grow almost all of the trees Nancy identified as well-suited for the Chicagoland area. For more info about the trees featured click these links below:
We are looking forward to having a booth again at the iLandsape Show in Schaumburg. We always enjoy seeing customers & talking about trees.
Visit us at BOOTH #1111
We also encourage you to come out & support our Green Industry lobbying & advocacy efforts in both Springfield & Washington. The Green Industry Tribute Dinner Jan 31 is a great way to do that! This year the event will honor Jim Melka and it will be held in conjunction with the iLandscape Show in Schaumburg. Here is a link to find out more about the event:
Finally, we are excited to participate in a great educational session at the iLandscape Show titled “Urban Tree Selection for a Changing Climate” on Feb 3 from 11:30am-1pm . As a member of the Ornamental Grower’s Association, Becky will be hosting the presentation by Nancy Buley of J. Frank Schmidt Nursery & Dr. Bert Cregg from Michigan State University. Please join us!
Last week we hosted the IL Arborist Assoc for their November meeting. It was a beautiful day to walk around the nursery & talk about trees! We had a great turnout of local arborists & foresters who all came out to the field to learn about trees and see what’s new in the nursery. Thanks to everyone who came out to visit!
This video clip shows us along with Roger Purcell from J. Frank Schmidt talking about Redpointe Red Maple. Thanks also to Roger for helping us out with the tour. We highlighted several new Schmidt introductions growing in our field – Redpointe Red Maple, Emerald Sunshine Elm, Crimson Sunset Maple, Streetspire Oak, Kindred Spirit Oak, and American Dream Oak just to name a few…
It was the first time we had a nursery tour here & we look forward to doing it again soon. It’s always great to get folks out in the field! Here are some more pics from the day:
We recently went to Oregon for the Far West Show & one of the highlights was a tour of the J. Frank Schmidt Arboretum led by Michael Dirr & Keith Warren. They showed us many new tree introductions over the years & talked about how & why they were developed. Here is a short video clip of a few conversations of them talking about Oaks. We thought it would be interesting to share since we are now growing many of these hybrid Oaks for our customers.
Their discussion covers some new hybrids like Streetspire Oak, Heritage Oak, & American Dream Oak. They also discuss the importance of Oaks in the landscape from an ecological stance & graft compatibility of the root stock used to make these new hybrids.
We are back from a great trip out west to visit our supplier nurseries in Oregon. The weather was beautiful & the nurseries were even better! We are very proud to have such great nurseries to partner with. All of growers we work with produce top quality trees & the fields out there have never looked better! Here is a re-cap of some of the visits we had on our trip:
Carlton Plants – We started off the trip with a tour at Carlton Plants. Their fields were picture perfect as always. The day ended with Carlton Plants annual salmon dinner. The salmon was caught the day before & cooked in this traditional method. It was a real northwest treat!
Carlton Plants Salmon Bake
Carlton Plants Tulip Tree
Carlton Plants salmon cooked the traditional way
J. Frank Schmidt Nursery – We were treated to 2 tours of the Schmidt farms. Their Barlow Farm is where most of the liners we buy are grown. Roger & Sam gave us a great tour of the fields. Everything looked perfect & we saw a few new trees to add to our mix as well. We also toured their Hood Acres farm where most of their root bag & container tree production is. Some of our new favorites we saw were Urban Sunset Maple, Green Whisper Bald Cypress, Beacon Oak, & Armstrong Gold Maple.
IL Growers at J. Frank Schmidt Nursery – Roger is showing off their Elms
J. Frank Schmidt Nursery Ginkgo
Gigantic Tulip Tree Leaves
Green Whisper Bald Cypress – a new one we are adding to try – great foliage
White Shield Osage Orange – we have been growing this new variety for a few years now
Espresso Kentucky Coffee Tree – a new favorite variety which is seedless
Urban Sunset Maple – Roger showing us a new hybrid variety we are going to try out next year
J. Frank Schmidt Nursery Arboretum Tour – This part of the trip needs it’s own write up! To celebrate their 70th year, the Schmidt family hosted employees & customers for a fantastic evening. The grounds of the Schmidt family Arboretum were the perfect setting for the event which was kicked off by a tour led by Michael Dirr & Keith Warren. To those in the plant world – they need no introduction! Below are some highlights from the tour. Thanks Schmidt team & here’s to another 70 years of great trees!
Below are some pics & a video clip of Dirr & Warren talking about Oaks:
Streetspire Oak – great form on this as it matures
Crimson Spire Oak – one of the oldest ones around
Michael Dirr & Keith Warren giving the J. Frank Schmidt Arboretum Tour
Crimson Sunset Maple – this hybrid has become our favorite for purple foliage
Streetspire Oak – we have been growing this for a while & really like the form & foliage
Beacon Oak – a new bicolor variety introduced by Michael Dirr. We were impressed & ordered some for next year!
Emerald City Tulip Tree – this new intro from Schmidt is a great tree for the urban landscape
Triumph Elm – one of the first elm hybrids & still one of the best
Heritage Oak – this English & Bur hybrid is becoming one of our favorites in the nursery
Robinson Nursery – Josh & Chris at Robinson Nursery gave us a great tour of their fields & container production. We get some really nice container oaks from them as well as some other species. They have a great product & are fun to work with!
Robinson Nursery Oaks
The “HOT” new Coffee Tree – Decaf!
Kuenzi Nursery – Myron always enjoys showing off his nursery & we once again saw some great trees! We like his root bag method of growing & his trees transplant well for us in our nursery.
Myron at Kuenzi Nursery showing us his trees
Around Oregon… We also had time to enjoy a few days of beautiful Oregon! From biking in Portland to hiking at Mt. Hood – Oregon is a great place to do business with fun on the side!
We are planting for the future at Spring Grove Nursery! We invite you to enjoy some pics around the nursery during our annual tree planting days. Featured in this video are some clips of planting Rugged Ridge & Redpointe Maples from J. Frank Schmidt Nursery. We also highlight planting Exclamation London Planetree, Oaks from Kuenzi Nursery, & unloading liners from Carlton Plants. Enjoy!
The 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.