Native Plantings

Our planting work is based off of a simple philosophy, plant only the highest quality native plants in an effort to restore and rebuild the natural landscape of Illinois. 

Prairies, hardwood forests, and sprawling oak savannas have been destroyed in the wake of housing and retail developments, invasive species, and invasive pests such as the Asian Longhorn Beetle and the Emerald Ash Borer. We our doing our part to integrate what once was into what has become using locally grown native plants.

 
 Mass planting at Frankfort Park District's "Main Park"

Mass planting at Frankfort Park District's "Main Park"

Why Native?

Some say that just because a plant is native, it won’t necessarily grow in our urban soil after development and the stripping of nutrient rich topsoil. We have often wondered how developers expect anything will grow on some new urban sites. However, for every urban site, there is a native plant that will fit it. It is just a matter of choosing the right plant for the right location. 

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Natural Looking Plants

Have you ever noticed the way a new nursery grown tree planted in an existing landscape sort of looks out of place, kind of like a "lolli pop" stuck in the dirt. In general, our trees are lower branched than the industry standard. More branches provide more leaves, which allows the tree to produce food for itself through photosynthesis. We encourage our customers to leave all branches on at transplanting time and begin pruning the second year. Since pruning of lower branches encourages top growth, over-aggressive pruning may result in a top-heavy tree and make staking necessary. Trees that become too top heavy may literally fall over! Staking is generally not required with our trees at transplant time because they are low branched.

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Better Growing Methods

After our seeds are collected, they are taken through several growing steps in a system that encourages fibrous roots. Seeds are put in flats with wire bottoms, then placed on benches with wire tops. As the seed germinates, the roots grow through the wire into air. The root tips dry out and die. This encourages the production of more roots. The seedling is then placed in half pints that mechanically direct the roots toward air holes. Roots grow through the air holes, and the root tips again dry out and die. Finally, the plants in half pints are then planted in gallon containers to repeat the process again. A fibrous root system is key to the establishment of vigorous growth of a plant. A tree or shrub with a fibrous root system not only transplants well but thrives.

plain and simple.

  • Plants that belong here, thrive here.
  • Roots, roots, roots! Its all about the roots!
  • Plant small and grow faster and stronger.
  • Happy and Healthy plants often are not plagued by many of the issues that are often exhibited in our landscapes. 
  • Plant now, plant for the future. Our plants are in it for the long run.
  • Native Plants bring back native life. Birds, bees, and butterflies!