"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

Now that June is here we are well on our way to field work!  Even though the weather this spring was strange, we are still on schedule in the field. We are in the full swing of pruning, mowing, spraying, etc. Summer is just around the corner! 

Our Holding Yard looks great & all of the trees that we have above ground have never looked better!  We have everything on drip irrigation and easily situated for tagging & loading. As we start out the month of June, we are still shipping out trees every day for customer projects.  On the sales end its been a great spring, and it seems to look like it will be busy into the summer. We are already taking orders for fall digging, and the new crop of trees coming along in the field looks terrific!

We just finished getting all of our newly planted trees (or liners as we call them) pruned & ready to grow! Our new liner crop was planted earlier this spring & they will grow on in the field for the next several years. The first initial pruning of the liners is a very important step in the development of the tree.

Our first pruning on liners usually consists of some key actions. We make sure to prune off any damaged or dead branches that occurred from shipping or planting. Next we limb up some of the bottoms branches to get the canopy closer to the height we want from the ground. Next we look at the top & establish a select a leader & adjust the overall height as needed. Then we do the structure work on the lateral branches by thinning out, shortening up, & removing branches as needed.

If the liner pruning is done properly, then the tree is off to a great start for it’s years here in our field. As we move through the blocks & complete the first step of structuring, our crews come behind & do a final touch up to make sure the tree is straight in the ground at the proper height.  Then we just wait for rain & sunshine to do their work & our new trees are ready to grow!

In our older crops in the field we are removing un-wanted branches, continuing leader work on the tops, un-staking trees & flexing them to build strength and re-staking them as needed. Pruning will continue all season long through multiple years as we prepare our next crops for the future. We love to watch the trees grow & change through the years!

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!

Liner Pruning in the Nursery

  • “It’s not easy being green”
  • “Green with envy”
  • “Love is evergreen”
  • “The grass is always greener”
  • “Green thumb”

The list goes on and on… Green is often thought of as the color of life, renewal, nature, and energy.  The color green symbolizes balance, nature, spring, and rebirth. Green is often associated with prosperity, freshness, and progress.

How many shades of green are there? According to Wikipedia there are about 74. In the nursery, the shades of green change throughout the season. Right now in the spring as all of the new growth emerges, the shades of green are the most vibrant of the entire season. The freshly popping foliage shines with a spring green like no other. Some trees emerge with a bright green that darkens as the season progresses. Others emerge with hints of purple or red mixed into the green and then evolve into a richer green throughout the summer. Whatever shade of green the leaves end up, there is nothing like that fresh green of spring!

So take time this spring to enjoy the various shades of green all around. The gorgeous greens emerging in the nursery right now help us to realize that it IS easy being green! We are in the Green Industry after all!

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It must be a farmer thing… or probably even a 5th generation farmer thing. My favorite time of year is in the spring when my new & old crops start to come to life. I know it’s going to happen, it always does. But there is nothing like seeing those bright green buds start to swell and pop open. Within a matter of days the whole nursery comes to life, just like it does year after year.

So much hard work and faith go into every crop, especially when planting a new crop in the spring. So to see our new trees burst forth into rows of green is one of my greatest joys as a farmer. And then to top it off, the older crops in the field spring back to life again too! A variety of adverse weather conditions can afflict our crops. Farmers are used to living with those risks season after season.  With this kind of lifestyle, farmers endure great stress some days. But more often than not, we are rewarded with a bountiful harvest. We get to witness our hard work grow every season. We enjoy beautiful sunrises & sunsets every day while we work. We relish in much needed spring rains, and we soak up the sunshine along with our trees.

So being a part of this farmer thing is pretty cool. I love that I can pass that down to our 6th generation which is now growing up just like our nursery crops!

Becky Thomas, 5th generation farmer and lover of spring

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As we harvest trees this spring from the field, we promptly bring them into our Holding Yard. Once in the yard, they are placed on drip irrigation. Throughout the season, we will ship trees that are fresh and ready to go on your projects. As we progress through the spring digging season, the trees available in our Holding Yard changes daily.

So what’s in our yard so far? Lots of spring blooms! All deciduous trees are now in the Holding Yard and ornamentals are in full bloom. Here are some recent pics:

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With clear sunny weather ahead we are in the final stages of digging & loading in the nursery! 

We hope to wrap up deciduous digging by the end of this week. As we are digging, we are also bringing in trees from the field to our loading area and our holding yard. Once those trees are in from the field, we will start evergreen digging. The recent cold temps slowed us up a bit as we needed to wait for certain species to be ready to dig. But the warm up seems to be here to stay, and the spring field work is going well. We actually wouldn’t mind some more rain now to settle in our newly planted trees!

Pictured here are some beautiful Red Maples in from the field and ready to bud out. We have a fantastic selection of trees in our above ground holding yard ready to ship. Spring is in the air!

If you have projects coming up that you need trees for this spring, now is the time to get your order in. Please don’t hesitate to call. Thanks & have a great spring!


We love trees at Spring Grove Nursery, so Arbor Day is one of our favorite days of the year! We started our local Arbor Day Program at Grundy County grade schools 15 years ago, and we are proud to be planting trees with 2 schools this spring. We educate the kids first about the benefits of trees and then let them jump in to help plant a tree at their school. It is a rewarding experience for us & fun for the kids too!

If you aren’t already celebrating Arbor Day, we would encourage you to get out into your community & do the same. We have lots of ideas & resources available to help you set up an Arbor Day Program of your own. Just give us a call! 

Here is an example of the info that we share with the kids: ARBOR DAY TREE INFO.  The kids really enjoy learning about how much good the tree that they help plant will do for their school & their environment.  It’s a great lesson & a lot of fun!

For more about our Arbor Day celebrations, check out our latest post Arbor Day Through the Years

Here are some pics from this year’s Arbor Day plantings in our community:

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Spring is coming and that means Arbor Day is around the corner! We are proud to be partnering with the Village of Coal City, iTrees.com, ComEd and Trees Forever to plant trees throughout the community on Arbor Day April 27. The goal is to plant 100 trees in the community!

In 2015 Coal City was hit by a devastating tornado that took with it most of the trees throughout the community. In 2016 we worked with these same partners to plant around 100 trees throughout the community. Those trees are currently flourishing along city parkways! This spring we are joining forces again to plant trees on resident’s personal properties.

The trees for the project are grown locally at Spring Grove Nursery. A diverse species list was selected to offer a wide range of trees for residents to choose from. Before Arbor Day, iTrees.com professionals will prepare the planting locations for residents and make sure the proper tree is planted in the right spot. On Arbor Day, volunteers from ComEd, iTrees.com, Trees Forever, the Village and Spring Grove Nursery will work to plant trees throughout the community. The purchase of the trees is a joint partnership from the residents, the Village of Coal City, ComEd and Trees Forever. This is true community event!

Festivities will get underway Friday, April 27 at the Coal City United Methodist Church at 6805 E. McArdle Rd, Coal City, IL.  Volunteers will gather at 8:30am to kick off the Arbor Day event with a few speakers from ComEd & the Village of Coal City. Spring Grove Nursery & iTrees.com will give volunteers a “tree planting demo” to show the proper way to plant a tree. A volunteer team of over 140 employees from ComEd will spread around town to plant trees. The day will conclude at the Coal City Elementary school for an Arbor Day planting with students.

Arbor Day was founded by J. Sterling Morton in 1872 and is celebrated every spring around the world. Trees provide countless social, environmental and economic benefits to our communities. For more info about Arbor Day or the benefits of trees, see the attached flyers or visit www.springgrovenursery.com/resources.

We invite you to join us for this fun community event on Arbor Day. Together a great team of people will make Coal City GREEN this Arbor Day!

Happy Arbor Day!

Coal City Arbor Day 2018 Press Release

Coal City Arbor Day (3)



One of our liner suppliers, J. Frank Schmidt Nursery in Oregon said it first… Trees are the Answer! And we couldn’t agree more! 

Trees really are the answer, and as Green Industry professionals it is our job to make sure our customers and our community knows that!  There are many ways to share the great news about the benefits of trees to our communities.  We put together a few resources that we often share.  Click below for links to some pdf files that you are welcome to use & share:


We also put together a fun video slideshow of some of our tree plantings with kids over the years. Check out  our ARBOR DAY VIDEO for a look at some of our plantings.  We made the video on animoto.com. Videos are really easy to make on their site & cost only $3! If you are looking for a way to share photos from some of your community events or to showcase tree projects, that website is a great resource.

Another great local resource in Illinois is the Morton Arboretum.  We found lots of great tree facts & links on their website – check it out at http://www.mortonarb.org/learn-experience/educators/arbor-day-classroom

Finally, the official “Trees are the Answer” people at J. Frank Schmidt Nursery in Oregon have a great website full of tree info – check it out at www.jfschmidt.com/treesaretheanswer/

However you choose to celebrate the year, have fun & Happy Arbor Day!

Seneca Arbor Day 2015 - Copy

Even though supply is tight this season, we have a terrific selection of trees available! Our availability is limited on certain varieties & sizes, however with over 1500 trees to choose from we are certain that you can find the trees you need for your projects.

We still have a good selection of Shade, Ornamental, & Evergreen Trees.  Hard to find trees like 2.0-3.0″ Maples are still in good supply on our list. In addition, we have a diverse selection of specimen trees for you to choose from.  Now is a great time to get your order in!

As the temps continue to warm up, the dig window will begin to close on certain trees. Sometimes we might have the tree available to dig even if it isn’t showing on our availability. Don’t hesitate to call or email us a list if there is something you need that you are having a hard time finding. We will double check our field numbers to see if we can find it for you.  Once the dig window closes this spring on a species, if we do not have extra above ground, we will list the next season that we can dig that variety.

In coming weeks there will be more trees available on our list as we pull them in from the field. Many times we end up digging a few extra here & there to clear out a block. Until those come into the Holding Yard for sure, it’s a bit of a guessing game on exact numbers. Our Holding Yard will be well stocked with a great selection soon.

We appreciate the opportunity to work with you this season!

Digging 2018