About Us

Who We Are

Get to know Jim King and King Nursery

If you ever loved race cars, then you know the beauty of high performance. This brought teenager Jim King again and again to the Oswego Drag Raceway. But little did this teenager know that 30 years later, the raceway would no longer exist. Instead, a 110-acre nursery operation headquartered in Oswego Illinois, would stand in its place. This property that was once a raceway was a part of King’s Oswego nursery location.

We specialize in landscape material that will perform best in Chicago area conditions, that will meet the needs of both the landscape contractor and the property owner alike.

Methods used to achieve this are intensive pruning techniques, drip irrigation to avoid plant stress, hand digging, 20’ by 20’ checked spacing for shade trees and ornamentals.

We strive for excellence in the plants we grow. As plant enthusiasts, we love to experiment with plants, to discover new and interesting varieties. Leading us to grow a large number of varieties, seeking ones that are functional as well as attractive. We understand the landscape contractor’s needs and the wants of his customers and readily accept input from landscape architects and other horticultural professionals.

This knowledge was gained through hands-on experience. Jim King started in landscape contracting, working for Clauss Brothers in Roselle. In 1966 he started his first nursery operation in Joliet. With the help of a good friend, he acquired the Montgomery land in 1976 and relocated his business. The Oswego Raceway property was added in 1983. An 84-acre farm in Compton was added, and the Big Rock farm was added after the Oswego property was sold. Jim manages field operations, and Claudia McReynolds is in charge of the business office.

On our website, we give a brief description of the plants, suggested uses in the landscape, site conditions, and function. Our company’s goal is to offer quality in our plants – the common ones and the uncommon ones. We think part of our serving landscape contractors with quality plants is the introduction of new plants. We propagate many of our plants from seed, germinated from our 50-year-old collection of the hardiest and most desirable Chicago region sources allowing open pollination to occur. These seedlings are selected for new cultivars to be introduced by Chicagoland Grows and the Chicago Region Tree Initiative (CRTI).

CRTI’s objective is to seek out, grow, promote, and plant 13 million-disease resistant trees that are suited to the Chicago area. We want the plants we sell to perform well. Performance depends on proper use. We are always willing to share our knowledge of how to use the plants we grow. When interaction between landscape architects, nurserymen, and contractors occurs, the best results are achieved all around for the plant, for the landscape contractor, for the property owner, for suppliers, and for the industry as a whole. We want to further the production, use and appreciation, for quality plant materials with your input; we think we can do that.




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