"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

2016 Catalog Cover

Welcome to a new spring at Spring Grove Nursery! To kick off this spring season, we have a fresh new look for our monthly email & website. We hope you enjoy our new & updated website, still full of great content & pictures. Our improved Photo Gallery is still coming together, but soon it will host pictures of all of our trees along with many shots around the nursery during various stages of production. Our website is now mobile friendly as well so we hope that it will be a good resource & tool for everything you need to know about trees. Check out our fresh new website here: Spring Grove Nursery

Along with the new website, our 2016 Catalogs have arrived!  The catalogs will be hitting mailboxes soon so if you are not on our mailing list & wish to be, please send us your contact info.  We are always happy to get you the information & trees that you need in whatever way is most convenient for you!


Out in the field things are starting to shape up for spring! Despite this last dusting of snow, spring will be here soon. Jamie is almost done tagging spring orders. In this pic, he is tagging some of our new 2″ Streetspire Oaks ready to dig. Their form really shows off in the winter & we are happy with how the new variety has grown in the nursery. Also pictured are some beautiful 12′ River Birch ready to go. 

The equipment is all tuned up & ready to roll. Our liner orders are set to come in late March.  We are still hoping to start some digging the week of March 14, but we will see if the weather cooperates. There is still time to come out to the nursery & tag an order. Please give us a call if you are ready to pick out some trees for your spring projects.  Next time we check in we should have lots more field activity to report!

Roots to Reality Timeline

In this article we want to highlight our Roots to Reality panel that Becky Thomas recently participated in at the iLandscape Show in February. The panel hosted by the OGA featured a diverse cross section of the green industry. We tackled some tough issues & had a vibrant discussion on many topics. One of the resources we featured was a handout showing the Timeline of a Tree. You can click on the pic to the side of this article for a look. It is a handy resource to help understand all of the stages & cooperation that go into bringing a tree from the research/idea stage through production.  Our flyer features Exclamation London Planetree as the example to illustrate. Thanks to the folks at Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects for putting the flyer together!

New Trees for Spring 2016

We have some fantastic fresh new trees in the field this spring! Some of the new varieties that we will be digging this spring & fall are:  Rugged Ridge Maple, Spring Flurry Serviceberry, Hardy Rubber Tree, Butternut, Show Time Crabapple, Little Twist Cherry, Pink Flair Cherry, & Streetspire Oak

We also have a great new crop of liners coming to plant this spring. Some new varieties we are excited to be trying out this spring are Firespire American Hornbeam, Prairie Sentinel Hackberry, Amur Maackia, & After Burner Black Tulpelo … just to name a few.

Supply is tight this season due to increased demand in the market. But don’t worry – we still have a great supply of trees available yet this spring! We will also be planting a full crop into the field as we have continued to do every year. Our consistent planting schedule over the years insures our customers that we can supply their tree needs each season. With greater demand however, early ordering & long range planning will be a good way to make sure we have the trees ready in the season you need them. We look forward to working with all of our customers to grow excellent quality trees for many years to come!

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!

093 (Small) 003 (Small) 063 (Small) 014 (Small) 105 (Small) 110 (Small) 021 (Small) 054 (Small) 068 (Small) 004 (Small) 020 (Small) 016 (Small) 026 (Small) 119 (Small) 025 (Small)