"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

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!


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!


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!


It must be July – the season of fresh SWEET CORN! Our patch here at the farm will be ready soon – maybe in another week. It is tassled out so it won’t be long. Please let us know if you would like to come & pick some ears.  We will show you where it’s at & we are happy to share!

We also had some excitement on the farm when 50 international farmers came to visit. They toured our corn/soybean operation & enjoyed a nice lunch while they were here.  The group came with the IL Soybean Association with farmers from Canada, UK, Germany, Australia, France, Argentina, Brazil, & Paraguay. Of course, eating lunch in Dad’s hanger/shed was the highlight!

Another highlight was meeting a farmer from Argentina that also diversified into tree production. He showed Becky video of his “small” tree farm of 1000 acres where he grows Pine & Eucalypus for lumber. The trees were at least 50′ tall & only 6 years old. I guess we don’t get quite that growth rate here, but it was interesting to learn about tree farming abroad!

We were happy to welcome our overseas guests and show them some Midwestern hospitality!

Well, the summer is off to an interesting start here at the nursery. We can’t remember a time where we have had so much continual rain. The summer solstice rolled in after several weeks of rain – over 10 inches just in June so far. The day after summer solstice, our county was hit hard by a tornado & dumped several inches more of rain.  As we prepare this email in the last days of June, it is still raining…

We feel very lucky to have missed the tornado. Our nursery was in the direct path.  In fact it skipped over the nursery & touched down just 1 mile east taking out a neighbors roof.  Then it touched down next in the town of Coal City just a few miles more to the east.  It caused devastating damage to the community. 

We had so many customers & nursery friends calling us the next day to see how we were & we really appreciate the out pouring of support from our friends. That’s what makes this a great industry to work in!

The photo on the top shows the flooding we found the next morning after the storm. Becky’s Dad flew over in his gyrocopter to take a look for us because we couldn’t get to the back of the nursery by truck or on foot. The video below shows how much the water went down just the next day. Our field is very well drained & in times like this we really value drainage. We did not sustain any lasting damage to anything & for that we are very thankful. We were not able to do any loading all week & we also appreciate the patience of our customers as we begin drying out. 

Click here to view our VIDEO AFTER STORMS

Other than all of that excitement, we are working on pruning & staking in the field. The rain all month has got us behind on weed control but we have been able to keep up on our insect spraying. We ware looking forward to some drier days ahead & maybe even a little sunshine!

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.