We recently attended the Iowa State Shade Tree Short Course and were treated to some excellent educational opportunities. One of our favorite presentations was by Guy Meacham from J. Frank Schmidt Nursery. Guy is the New Plant Development Manager for the nursery, and he shared some of the recent new introductions to come out of the nursery breeding & selection program. We have been planting J. Frank Schmidt nursery liners since the beginning of our nursery, and we are always excited to try new varieties.
Guy shared how the plant breeding and selection process takes many years – sometimes over 20 – to find and select a new tree variety. Through careful observation in the landscape and breeding methods in the nursery, superior specimens are chosen for particular traits. The end result is often a tree that exhibits better color, habit, tolerance or beauty than the straight species.
At Spring Grove Nursery we grow over half of the trees Guy featured in his presentation. We are always eager to try new varieties that we think will perform well in our nursery and for our customers in the landscape. Click the link to Guy’s presentation for his full list. The varieties that we are currently growing are Northern Glow Maple, Armstrong Gold Maple, Redpointe Maple, Crimson Sunset Maple, Urban Sunset Maple, Emerald Avenue Hornbeam, Heartland Catalpa, Prairie Sentinel Hackberry, June Snow Dogwood, Espresso Kentucky Coffeetree, Emerald City Tulip Tree, Royal Raindrops Crabapple, Afterburner Tupelo, Autumn Treasure Hophornbeam, Mountain Sentinel Aspen, Pink Flair Cherry, American Dream Oak, Beacon Oak, Urban Pinnacle Oak, Crimson Spire Oak, Streetspire Oak, Green Whisper Bald Cypress, Emerald Sunshine Elm.
Thanks Guy Meacham for a great presentation. Keep up the good work finding new trees for us to grow!
Tried & True Selections From your Growers at Spring Grove Nursery
Here is a highlighted list of trees we have found to perform well in our nursery and in the landscape. These trees thrive in our fields despite the extreme climate fluctuations we have experienced in recent years. We are always evaluating which selections seem to flourish despite a wide range of extremes, yet still offer ornamental interest in the landscape. 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:
Did you know that in Illinois October is Oak Awareness Month? AKA OAKtober as designated by Gov. Bruce Rauner a few years ago. To celebrate, we would like to feature a few of our favorite new Oak hybrids here at the nursery.
For more on OAKtober, you can also check out this link from the Morton Arboretum: OAKtober
For pictures & descriptions of the Oaks we are growing here at the nursery check out our Oak Photo Gallery
American Dream Oak – Quercus bicolor ‘JFS-KW12’
50′ x 40′ – This new Swamp White Oak cultivar developed by J. Frank Schmidt Nursery was selected for strong resistance to anthracnose & powdery mildew resistance. As a grower, we love the branching consistency in the field. It also has a great shaggy bark with very glossy green leaves.
Streetspire Oak – Quercus robur x Q. alba ‘JFS-KW1QX’
45′ x 14′ – Similar to Crimson Spire Oak, it is another J. Frank Schmidt Nursery introduction. It differs in that it does not hold it’s foliage through winter. It has wider branch angles making it more storm resistant. The red fall color is another great feature of this tree.
Kindred Spirit Oak – Q. robur x Q. bicolor ‘Nadler’
30′ x 6′ – This Oak is one of the tightest columnar trees. It is a sister seedling to the Regal Prince but with a tighter form. The mildew & drought resistant features coupled with the form make it an excellent choice for narrow urban streets.
Heritage Oak – Quercus macdanielli ‘Clemons’
50′ x 40′ – The Heritage Oak has handsome dark green foliage which is very mildew resistant. It is an English and Bur Oak hybrid with excellent cold tolerance. The pyramidal form makes it a good street tree Oak.
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: Amur Flame Maple, Crescendo Sugar Maple, Autumn Splendor Horsechestnut, Dakota Pinnacle Birch, Frans Fontaine European Hornbeam, June Snow Dogwood, Windover Gold Ginkgo, Firebird Crabapple, Afterburner Black Tupelo, American Dream Oak, Cobblestone Oak, Streetspire Oak, Kindred Spirit Oak, Heritage Oak, Shawnee Brave Bald Cypress & Techny Arborvitae
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 Urban Sunset Maple, Early Glow Buckeye, Arnold Tulip Tree, Northern Splendor Black Tupelo, Swedish Columnar Aspen, Beacon Oak, Green Whisper Bald Cypress & Musashino Zelkova… 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!
UPDATED LINKS FROM THE ILANDSCAPE PRESENTATION FEB 3, 2017
Nancy Buley, J. Frank Schmidt Nursery & Dr. Bert Cregg, Michigan State University
Current climate projections suggest that the climate of the Great Lakes Region could resemble that of present-day Oklahoma by the latter part of this century. Drought, severe heat waves, torrential rains and floods, long-lasting winter snows and other severe weather events make it clear that our changing climate demands significant changes in urban forestry planting palettes and management practices. Learn about research that is helping to identify trees that can acclimate to climate change and how to apply research to your efforts to ensure future urban forest health by selecting and growing broadly adapted, resilient trees.
PRESENTATION UPDATE: Please see the links below to details from the presentation. Dr. Bert Cregg began the talk by sharing his research about the changing climate & how trees acclimate. Nancy Buley followed up by identifying trees that J. Frank Schmidt Nursery grows which have demonstrated successful acclimation in the landscape. Nancy highlighted 34 trees they have selected as superior for our changing climate in the Midwest. At Spring Grove Nursery, we grow almost all of the trees Nancy identified as well-suited for the Chicagoland area. For more info about the trees featured click these links below:
Please join us in the field at Spring Grove Nursery for an up close look at tree production. Find out how trees are grown, what new & exciting tree varieties are growing for the future, and what the forecasts are for the tree supply in coming years. Come out to the nursery & see for yourself “what’s growing on” out in the field!
Nov 17, 2016 Nursery Tour 10am-12pm lunch following
Tour begins at field location 100 E. Spring Rd, Mazon with lunch following at noon at 650 S. Baker Rd
Register with April Toney at IAA firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-617-8887 Please RSVP for lunch by 11/11/16
FYI: This will be a walking tour – dress for any weather & be ready to kick the dirt!
We recently went to Oregon for the Far West Show & one of the highlights was a tour of the J. Frank Schmidt Arboretum led by Michael Dirr & Keith Warren. They showed us many new tree introductions over the years & talked about how & why they were developed. Here is a short video clip of a few conversations of them talking about Oaks. We thought it would be interesting to share since we are now growing many of these hybrid Oaks for our customers.
Their discussion covers some new hybrids like Streetspire Oak, Heritage Oak, & American Dream Oak. They also discuss the importance of Oaks in the landscape from an ecological stance & graft compatibility of the root stock used to make these new hybrids.
We are back from a great trip out west to visit our supplier nurseries in Oregon. The weather was beautiful & the nurseries were even better! We are very proud to have such great nurseries to partner with. All of growers we work with produce top quality trees & the fields out there have never looked better! Here is a re-cap of some of the visits we had on our trip:
Carlton Plants – We started off the trip with a tour at Carlton Plants. Their fields were picture perfect as always. The day ended with Carlton Plants annual salmon dinner. The salmon was caught the day before & cooked in this traditional method. It was a real northwest treat!
Carlton Plants Salmon Bake
Carlton Plants Tulip Tree
Carlton Plants salmon cooked the traditional way
J. Frank Schmidt Nursery – We were treated to 2 tours of the Schmidt farms. Their Barlow Farm is where most of the liners we buy are grown. Roger & Sam gave us a great tour of the fields. Everything looked perfect & we saw a few new trees to add to our mix as well. We also toured their Hood Acres farm where most of their root bag & container tree production is. Some of our new favorites we saw were Urban Sunset Maple, Green Whisper Bald Cypress, Beacon Oak, & Armstrong Gold Maple.
IL Growers at J. Frank Schmidt Nursery – Roger is showing off their Elms
J. Frank Schmidt Nursery Ginkgo
Gigantic Tulip Tree Leaves
Green Whisper Bald Cypress – a new one we are adding to try – great foliage
White Shield Osage Orange – we have been growing this new variety for a few years now
Espresso Kentucky Coffee Tree – a new favorite variety which is seedless
Urban Sunset Maple – Roger showing us a new hybrid variety we are going to try out next year
J. Frank Schmidt Nursery Arboretum Tour – This part of the trip needs it’s own write up! To celebrate their 70th year, the Schmidt family hosted employees & customers for a fantastic evening. The grounds of the Schmidt family Arboretum were the perfect setting for the event which was kicked off by a tour led by Michael Dirr & Keith Warren. To those in the plant world – they need no introduction! Below are some highlights from the tour. Thanks Schmidt team & here’s to another 70 years of great trees!
Below are some pics & a video clip of Dirr & Warren talking about Oaks:
Streetspire Oak – great form on this as it matures
Crimson Spire Oak – one of the oldest ones around
Michael Dirr & Keith Warren giving the J. Frank Schmidt Arboretum Tour
Crimson Sunset Maple – this hybrid has become our favorite for purple foliage
Streetspire Oak – we have been growing this for a while & really like the form & foliage
Beacon Oak – a new bicolor variety introduced by Michael Dirr. We were impressed & ordered some for next year!
Emerald City Tulip Tree – this new intro from Schmidt is a great tree for the urban landscape
Triumph Elm – one of the first elm hybrids & still one of the best
Heritage Oak – this English & Bur hybrid is becoming one of our favorites in the nursery
Robinson Nursery – Josh & Chris at Robinson Nursery gave us a great tour of their fields & container production. We get some really nice container oaks from them as well as some other species. They have a great product & are fun to work with!
Robinson Nursery Oaks
The “HOT” new Coffee Tree – Decaf!
Kuenzi Nursery – Myron always enjoys showing off his nursery & we once again saw some great trees! We like his root bag method of growing & his trees transplant well for us in our nursery.
Myron at Kuenzi Nursery showing us his trees
Around Oregon… We also had time to enjoy a few days of beautiful Oregon! From biking in Portland to hiking at Mt. Hood – Oregon is a great place to do business with fun on the side!
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!
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!