"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 are looking forward to iLandscape next week! Come visit us at booth #1115. Be looking for our cool new stickers and some good fortune for the new year!

Another fun event will be the IGIA Tribute Dinner Tuesday night at Cooper’s Hawk. You can drink some good wine and even bid on an airplane ride from Becky’s Dad to raise money for advocacy! For more info check out these links:

iLandscape 2019 Jan 30-Feb 1 Schaumburg

We will be at BOOTH #1115 at the iLandscape Show this year. Please stop by and visit us!

14th Annual Chuck Tosovsky Tribute Dinner Jan 29 Cooper’s Hawk, Arlington Heights

The annual Chuck Tosovsky Tribute Dinner is held in conjunction with the iLandscape Show. This year’s honoree is Platt Hill from Platt Hill Nursery.  The proceeds from the event will go to support public policy efforts for the green industry in IL.  

We hope to see you soon!

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We had a great time at InVigorateU earlier this week! There were so many interesting speakers and fantastic networking opportunities. Here are a few highlights we took away from the event:

  • Keynote speaker Dr. Charlie Hall from Texas A&M gave a thorough analysis of our hort industry economy and projections for the future. Labor continues to be a big issue for our businesses with currently over 15 million job vacancies in the US waiting to be filled.  Input costs to our industry have risen 22% in recent years but prices are not keep up which results in shrinking margins. Next recession prediction… possibly 2021. Take away – be ready to manage working capital. Here is a link to Dr. Hall’s presentation if you want to learn more: https://www.illinoisgreen.net/assets/InVigorateU/InvigorateU-Hall.pdf
  • Nancy Buley from J. Frank Schmidt Nursery highlighted some new tree varieties to keep your eye on. Here is a link to the trees: http://www.jfschmidt.com/pdfs/2019_InVigorateU_JFS.pdf
  • In a second presentation, Nancy explained to timeline to market for trees from development to final production. It was fascinating to see the process from start to finish. Did you know that Espresso Kentucky Coffeetree to 20 years from discovery, to R&D, to available production liners??? Then add on production here in the Midwest of another 5 years. Or did you know that Valley Forge Elm took 34 years total to produce a 3.0″ tree??? Here is a link to some more info: http://jfschmidt.com/pdfs/TreesToMarket-IVU-2019.pdf
  • Melissa Custic from Morton Arboretu shared an interesting link to Witness Trees in Illinois: http://chicagorti.org/WitnessTrees  This program is a follow up to a land survey from the 1800’s done in Illinois. Fascinating stuff!
  • Lydia Scott from Morton Arboretum presented an update from CRTI. They are estimating the need for 28 million additional trees to be planted in the Chicago region in coming years. That’s about 12 trees/person! There has been a 17% decline in the Oak ecosystem over time, along with pest threats like EAB, invasive species, and an overall aging canopy. PLANT TREES is on the agenda and as growers it is an exciting time to figure out how to meet the need. You can read more about the CRTI Master Plan 2050 here: http://chicagorti.org/
  • In the LA room, I got to see a former U of I classmate, Mark Dwyer, from Rotary Gardens present on Healing Gardens. It brought me back to my roots of design and was exciting to hear about the therapeutic benefits of plants. I cannot wait to go visit his beautiful gardens this summer!

All in all it was a packed few days with so much more to talk about! Feel free to reach out to me if you want to know more about any of the presentations. There was so much more that I didn’t even touch on in this post!

Becky Thomas

Our SGN booth all set up and ready to talk trees!
Our SGN booth all set up and ready to talk trees!
A great group! Steve Worth, Nancy Buley, Dr. Charlie Hall, Mark Ringhouse, & Becky Thomas
A great group! Steve Worth, Nancy Buley, Dr. Charlie Hall, Mark Ringhouse, & Becky Thomas

Our final counts & measures are in from the field so our new SPRING 2019 AVAILABLITY is ready to go! We have another exceptional crop of trees ready this season. Our diverse & high-quality selections are well suited for your spring projects. Please look over our availability and give us a call if you have any questions. We hope to work with you this season!

Book now for your Spring 2019 projects!


The nursery is quietly hibernating for the winter.  Our inventory counts are almost done & we are ready to take new orders for spring. We will be preparing our new 2019 Catalog soon. If you are not on our mailing list & would like to receive our new spring catalog, please send us your contact info.

In the shop, we are working on our routine equipment maintenance & preparing our supplies for a new season. In the field, we go out on nice days & do structure pruning.  Soon we will be getting customer orders tagged in the field so we can be prepared for digging season when that hits.  Our baskets & burlap will be ordered soon and spring digging will be here before you know it!

We are making our final changes to our liner orders are preparing for another spring planting season as well.  We will be lining out a full crop again into the field this spring.

Winter is a great time to visit the nursery & we invite you to come out for a tour. We welcome the opportunity to be your grower this season!

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Some great green industry events are coming up that you will find Spring Grove Nursery at!

InVigorateU 2019 Jan 14-15 Normal

Many of you have attended this educational event in the past and have felt it was a worthwhile time spent learning alongside fellow green industry colleagues. The line up of speakers this year looks to be interesting & relevant for our industry. We are excited to hear renowned Ag Economist Dr. Charlie Hall from Texas A&M and Nancy Buley from J. Frank Schmidt, just to name a few!  We hope to see many of you there again. Register now online!

iLandscape 2019 Jan 30-Feb 1 Schaumburg

We will be at BOOTH #1115 at the iLandscape Show this year. Please stop by and visit us!

14th Annual Chuck Tosovsky Tribute Dinner Jan 29 Cooper’s Hawk, Arlington Heights

The annual Chuck Tosovsky Tribute Dinner is held in conjunction with the iLandscape Show. This year’s honoree is Platt Hill from Platt Hill Nursery.  The proceeds from the event will go to support public policy efforts for the green industry in IL.  Again, I hope to see many of your there to support our industry and our association.

We hope to see you at some of these Green Industry events this winter!

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We are working on getting the nursery all tucked away and ready for winter. Cold temps moved in quickly this fall, but we still got most of our field work done.  There are a few more things to take care of out there before we wrap up the season.  We have been working on a new inventory for spring and are happy to report another great crop of trees are ready to go. Our new availability numbers will be ready soon!

The spring planting areas for 2019 are prepped and ready for a fresh crop of liners. We also still have some nice trees above ground that can still be picked up for last minute December projects. Looking ahead we are already taking Spring 2019 orders, and we are gearing up for a great season ahead!

Please give us a call as you are making your plans for next season!

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Spring Grove Nursery is proud to announce several new certifications recently attained for our nursery. Becky Thomas, President and Grower at Spring Grove Nursery, has successfully achieved Woman-Owned Business status with several state & federal agencies. Our goal is to provide nursery customers with more tools and purchasing options when it comes to projects requiring top quality trees grown by a certified nursery. We look forward to growing new relationships with companies that specialize in this type of contract work. Please see the listing below of the certifications now available at Spring Grove Nursery:

  • WBE – Women’s Business Enterprise
    • Granted by the WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) 5-15-18
  • WOSB – Women-Owned Small Business
    • Granted by the WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) 5-15-18
  • BEP – Business Enterprise Program
    • Granted by the State of Illinois 6-6-18
  • DBE – Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
    • Granted by Illinois Department of Transportation 10-1-18
    • Participating agencies IDOT, City of Chicago, Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, & Pace

Spring Grove Nursery is a wholesale tree nursery located in North Central Illinois.  Growing on 100 acres in Grundy County just south of the Chicagoland suburbs, our nursery holds a diverse and superior selection of Shade, Ornamental, and Evergreen trees. Ready for pick-up or delivery, we offer landscape contractors, garden centers, municipalities, park districts, and landscape architects a collection of healthy specimen trees to utilize in their projects. The nursery offers over 144 different variety of trees harvested at a target size of 2-3” caliper.

Becky Thomas graduated from University of Illinois in 1993 with a B.A. in Landscape Architecture.  In 1999, Spring Grove Nursery took root as Becky and her husband Jamie planted their first crop of trees. Becky currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Green Industry Association as a Past-President. Her nursery is also a member of the Ornamental Growers Association of Northern Illinois where she also serves on the Board of Directors.

Spring Grove Nursery is proud to offer these new certifications to our customers. We invite you to stop by anytime for a nursery tour or a visit.  We welcome the opportunity to show you our farm, our quality, and our service.


Becky Thomas, President & Grower

WBE Certifications

We loved hosting the H.O.P.E. Program today at the nursery! Together with iTrees.com we spent the day teaching Horticulture students about our 2 businesses. They experienced tree production from the liner stage through the end planting stage in a customer’s yard. Thanks to Roger Purcell from J. Frank Schmidt Nursery for sharing his expertise with the students today. It was chilly but everyone got lots of hands on experience & hopefully learned a bunch!

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At Spring Grove Nursery, we are proud to have a diverse & superior selection of tree species growing in our nursery. We work very hard to select a mix of trees that are well suited for our landscape while at the same time offer a unique palate of colors & textures throughout the seasons. Our tree mix changes a bit every season, and we are always looking for new varieties to add to our nursery. We seek out the best liner suppliers to partner with so that we can insure that the trees we plant are of the best quality & heritage.

Some of the trees on our list are ready to dig & sell now, and some are still growing in the field. Please check with us for the most current availability with pricing.

On the last page of the link we have a list of “Tried & True” Trees. The list highlights trees we have found to perform well in our nursery and in the landscape. These trees seem to adapt well to the extreme climate fluctuations we have experienced in recent years here in our fields. As we expect this trend to continue, we are always evaluating which selections seem to thrive despite a wide range of extremes.   Everything we grow here at the nursery is worth merit, or we wouldn’t grow it! These are just a few selections that have caught our attention in recent years.

Please click on this link below for more about selections at the nursery:

Species Diversity Selections & “Tried and True” Trees