1. The newest Illinois state champion tree: the lg. 200 year old Cottonwood near Byron Il. (plus the previous state champ…the giant bald cypress of the Shawnee, est to be nearly 1250 yrs old)

    January 3, 2019 by MAX

    The Champ- a huge, two-stemmed Cottonwood (Champ trees are determined by their height, trunk circumference, and crown spread (points x 3 categories) which totals to make this giant the largest tree in the state of Illinois.

    A Native Cottonwood- and largest tree of Illinois. There are dozens of native trees in Ill, and few grow the size of Cottonwoods, or as fast.
    Quite a giant; situated in a protected valley, near gravel prairies, and wind swept hilltops. An easy trip from the Chicagoland area. That’s me, Perspective: That’s me, Ed, in the pic….and Im 6ft 4″.

    Cottonwoods (Populus Deltoides) can grow to enormous size and usually the tallest trees of the urban forests and wilderness areas of the Chicagoland region. Perching birds (eagles, hawks, owls) can often be seen in tall cottonwoods as they are great vantage points for spying prey, and awesome roosts!
    Fond of water, they are usually found along stream beds or low-lying areas that rarely dry. Also found in the arroyos of the SW, and the wetlands of the east….a vast territory for this species.

    New clones of cottonwood can be found for sale, though usually male, so as not to create the dreaded ‘cotton’ plumes of summer.

    Discovered a few years ago, near the Bald Hill Prairie thus knocking out the Cache river Bald Cypress (seen below) ….another serious giant, found in the watery backwaters in the Cache (the everglades of the north) in the Shawnee N.F..

    The Cache swamps are the northerly- most naturally occuring wetlands containing bald cypress and tupelo in North America. Taxodium can be found all the way to the keys in So. Florida, and along the gulf. Their range can be extended north into southern Wisconsin if placed in the right conditions.

    In the Chicagoland area; cypress are popular as street trees, landscape specimens and a great tree for wet areas.

    They can grow for a millenia!

    Bald cypress are fond of water- and will grow for centuries, or perhaps thousands of years if lucky.
    State champ bald cypress Il, 36 ft circ. 1200 yr old! Seen here with some from the Illinois Native Plant Society Annual gathering in 2016.

  2. Bloodroot: and other Native wildflowers, easily incorporated into your landscapes and perennial gardens, for very early and quite spectacular color!

    March 7, 2018 by MAX

    native landscape of Naperville by Ed Max and maxlandscape.com

    Bloodroot is one underutilized native wildflower native to our oak forests of the area. Used in this Naperville landscape design using native species such as Bloodroot, Bluebells, Triulliums, Bleeding Heart and more……all good for a shade garden in Lombard, Glen Ellyn and Wheaton landscapes.

    Landscape design company of Naperville, Oak Brook landscape services.

    Bloodroot, seen in clumps over 20 years old, in WOODED LANDSCSAPES of Naperville Il

     

     

    Seen in this Naperville garden: Bloodroot!

    native landscapes , maxlandscape.com

    Once thought to have medicinal properties, quite toxic.


  3. Liveliest colors in fall blooming aster, and pollinators love them all!

    September 25, 2017 by MAX

    New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) is one of the Midwestern natives and late blooming. Showy purple blooms w an orange eye. Deer resistant too! Grows to 3 or 4 ft, good for background , rear of sun beds.

    Also very drought resistant. Bees love them, as do monarchs which seek out all aster for late season food source.

    native species, natural landscapes by Ed Max, maxlandscape.com

    Late blooming native perennial, hardy, offers some of the best color in the late gardens.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Contact us soon for advice on late season colors, designs, and pollinator friendly habitats!

     

     

    native aster, woods aster of Wheaton landscapes

     

    Contact us

     


  4. Brighten up those darker areas with Annabelle Hydrangea, as in this Naperville landscape and shade garden.

    January 6, 2017 by MAX

    Shrubs for shade by Ed Max, landscape designs in Naperville Il,Naperville Il landscape company,

    A cultivar of the native Hydrangea arborescens, this beauty called Annabella Hydrangea has been around a while, but still fits it’s niche in a woodland or shade garden landscape.
    This Naperville landscape project had an emphasis on light colored blooms , and white flowers to light up a dark border bed, or liven up a moon garden. Seen here after dark, this shrub blooms in eatly to mid summer. The bloom fades to a green then brown as it dries.
    Simply cut back to knee high in late winter (important). Feeding is not necessary, just water when dru. That’s it. Easy to divide as well.
    One of our go to plants for shade gardens, naturalistic landscapes, and on terraced walls.