"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
  • “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!

Spring Green (4) Spring Green (3) Spring Green (2) Spring Green (1) Spring Green (7) Spring Green (6) Spring Green (5)

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

Spring Growth (2) Spring Growth (3) Spring Growth (4) Spring Growth (5) Spring Growth (1)

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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Holding Yard (10) Holding Yard (11)  Holding Yard (12) Holding Yard (13) Holding Yard (14) Holding Yard (15) Holding Yard (7) Holding Yard (8)Holding Yard (17) Holding Yard (18) Holding Yard (19) Holding Yard (16)

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!

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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:

ARBOR DAY CELEBRATION 2018
SOCIAL, ECONOMIC, & ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF TREES
TREE RESOURCES
ARBOR DAY WEBSITE
ARBOR DAY PHOTO GALLERY

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

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. Our son Joey even recruited some of his varsity basketball team to spend their spring break in the nursery!

Some new varieties we are excited to be trying out this spring are Spaeth’s Alder, Emerald Avenue Pyramidal Hornbeam, Fire King American Hornbeam, Heartland Catalpa, Red Fox Katsuratree, True North Kentucky Coffeetree, Sparkling Sprite Crababpple… just to name a few.

We would like to thank our liner growers who we value as partners in our business. We planted great liners from J. Frank Schmidt Nursery, Carlton Plants,  Robinson Nursery and Kuenzi Turf & Nursery.

Please enjoy our new planting video of scenes from the field during planting. Now we are ready for some sunshine & rain!

Tune Credits “Running Down a Dream” Tom Petty

Becky is proud to represent the IGIA as the new president for this upcoming year. Please join us in making IGIA a great association for our green industry here in Illinois!

Click here to read more: IGIA New Board President Becky Thomas

New IGIA President Becky Thomas presents out going President Mark McWilliams with his plaque.
New IGIA President Becky Thomas presents out going President Mark McWilliams with his plaque.

IGIA President

The IGIA Summer Conference was a huge hit! It was fun to resurrect this old tradition and spend time with IGIA friends & colleagues.  Below are some fun pics from the event. Make sure to join us next summer in Galena!

 

 

 
New IGIA President Becky Thomas presents out going President Mark McWilliams with his plaque.
New IGIA President Becky Thomas presents out going President Mark McWilliams with his plaque.
 
Nursery gals Allyson Hoffmeyer, Laurie Damgaard and Becky Thomas
Nursery gals Allyson Hoffmeyer, Laurie Damgaard and Becky Thomas
Biking to Warren Dunes for a picnic
Biking to Warren Dunes for a picnic
Evening Dinner with Friends
Evening Dinner with Friends
Local Wineries
Local Wineries
Juni's cheerful artwork for everyone!
Juni’s cheerful artwork for everyone!
Alex Head from CJ Fiore getting serious about fireworks!
Alex Head from CJ Fiore getting serious about fireworks!
Great way to end Summer Conference with a bang at Jack Pizzo's!
Great way to end Summer Conference with a bang at Jack Pizzo’s!
 
Beautiful Michigan harbor
Beautiful Michigan harbor
Fun with Allyson Hoffmeyer from Hoffie Nursery
Fun with Allyson Hoffmeyer from Hoffie Nursery

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:

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