1. For the love of trees : part 1 (in progress) (with views from an arborist)

    November 15, 2017 by MAX

    And what’s not to love? Check in here periodically to catch up on my musings of the tree, the magnificent, the mysterious and the important tree!  As a lover of trees, and as a professional arborist I never stop learning and investigating the incredible and diverse universe that is the tree. Think about it: what other group of plants (or animals perhaps?) on this planet has benefited mankind as much? Trees offer shelter or some form of benefit  to us and a vast chunk of life on this planet.  I’ll attempt to cover many forms of life benefiting from trees, along with the oldest of various species, and of course their awesome beauty, beginning with the oak family.

    Record size trees of Mossuri, arborist Ed Max, rcord trees of Iliinois, champion trees of America

    This massive Bur oak blew me away. Its sheer mass and height is unreal. Many species of birds, fungi, insects and mammals earn their living off this live behemoth.

    There are studies done on the life cycle of the native oak, and the estimates are that well over 20,000 different species of organisms rely on the oak family (Midwest region) for sustenance (both above ground, and below)

    native oaks, record size trees of Illinois

    State Champion White oak of Illinois. A very lg. tree indeed. Located just SW of Ottawa Il.. To think that this plant has been here since before the founding of the U.S.!

     

     

     


  2. Osage Orange tree (Maclura pom.) Failure – A century and a half year old tree goes down in West Chicago, Il

    November 9, 2017 by MAX

    A tale behind the pictures below:  (with some embellishment).

    Picture this……Originally oak savannah, mixed with occasional tallgrass prairie…… early 1800’s perhaps…..pre-settlement, with sizeable native – American  (in what is today West Chicago Il. ).  Then…….along came settlers and farmers looking for arable, loamy  farmland.      And they found it.     So in the process of clearing and maintaining their holdings (as time went on), by the mid 1800’s the idea of hedgerows came to be the norm.

    And one of the more common and cheap forms of hedgerow materials was Osage Orange, a native to Texas and Oklahoma.  

     

    Tree care near Geneva and Winfield Il, arborist and designers on staff, maxlandscape.com for trees and garden design

    Osage orange tree failed in late October 2017.  There had been storms the past month, but none severe- it was too heavy w/ a co-dominant (or pair of) stems. This tree had been in this spot since the 1800’s…..now an unrecognizable jumble of weedy invasives.

    The farmer would then head out to his or her property borders and plant  the sections of live Osage Orange into the rich earth every few yards, and VIOLA!…..the lifeless (dormant) wood sprang to life. And live they did. For close to 2 centuries! (See annual growth rings pictured). This species was also used (by the U.S. and WCC) as hardy a windbreak during and after the dustbowl in the central U.S., to combat erosion and wind.

    So, if you ever come across a lonely row of Osage Orange along a roadside, or in a neighborhood, remember the lore of the farmer and his hedgerow.  HINT: Look for those odd, and rather decorative lime green fruits in fall. They are produced by the female Osage Orange. Yes, they are sexed- male and female (or dioecious). If you ever have the urge to plant for the fruit- you’ll need both sexes to have fruit. In today’s market, most Osage Orange are of the male clones only, so no fruit. And sadly- up until recently, Osage Orange are hard to come by. But I recommend such trees- as they are hardy, seem to have few insect or disease issues, and live for centuries!

    History of trees  in the Chicago area…..See our native tree list for more info on reliable and sturdy trees for our changing climate in the Midwest. Ed Max is a certified arborist and naturalist, and would be happy to stop out for a consultation. Fall is best time for planting, as is spring.

    Wheaton Il historic trees, native trees , Arborsit and landscape designs

    Osage Orange – ancient hedgerow species of the 1800s, arborist Ed Max tells the tale. Trees of West Chicago, Winfield, Il are his specialty and passion!

    * With a warming climate, and climate change- deciding on a tree for long term benefits is important – use native species such as oak, and hickory. Or Gingko, maple and Cypress.     Ed Max is a certified Arborist and a member of the International Arborist Society, and is a landscape designer in the western suburbs of Chicago.


  3. A victorian era townhome landscape design- in the Frank Lloyd Wright district of Oak Park , Il

    January 4, 2017 by MAX
    Vintage landscape of Oak Park, Il, River Forest vintage designs, old fashion plantings, Oak Park landscape designs by Ed Max.

    What a gem is this unique 1890’s era townhome in the town of Oak Park, Il. And what a unique opportunity to landscape this small space!
    Located just to the south of a rather significant Frank Lloyd Wright home, this is in the heart of the historic Oak Park area. The front is terraced, and framed out in impressive limestone edgers, dating back over 100 years.                                   The soils are intact- meaning deep loam throughout this area. There were not massive earth moving vehicles then, so we enjoy deep black soils; a rarity out in the suburbs. Back in the day, they just dug a hole to fit the loose stone foundations. Adding the new plants and creating this design was exciting.
    We’ve added in some vintage landscape species here: hydrangea, bulbs, and azalea, but used manay other more ‘modern’ species that fit this small site and shade situation.                            Native species such as Little Bluestem and Prairie Dropseed grasses, Bluebells, Rosanne geranium, and sedges for seasonal color, plus a touch of small but beguiling specie tulip, which do well in these habitats, and naturalize well.

     

     

     

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    designs by landscape designer Ed Max

    Vintage landscapes , new design at this 1890’s era home in Oak Park, Il.

     

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    Contact Ed Max and Max’s Greener Places soon for spring designs ,updated landscapes, seasonal bed care and more.

    Maxlandscape.com. Oak Park, Il, landscape designs by Ed Max


  4. An early spring perhaps? Seen here in a Wheaton Il shade garden in bloom, in the snow.

    March 5, 2016 by MAX

    A sight for sore eyes: this is one of many witch-hazels in our collections here. This winter blooming shrub adds serious color to an early winter garden! Hammemalis ‘Jelena’ with its fiery and fragrant bloom- seems out of place in the snow!

    Landscape design and landscape care in West Chicago. and Wheaton Il, Ed Max is a landscape designer and naturalist

    Winter colors in the garden. Seen here in a woodland landscape in West Chicago, Winfield area. Extend landscape colors and interests by diversifying shrub content. The bees too appreciate it!

     

    Excellent fall colors are another reason to plant the beautiful witch-hazels (Hammemalis sp.), easy to care for too, and tolerate (prefer) some shade and evenly moist, rich soils.

    Glen Ellyn landscape designs  by  Ed Max and maxlandsscape.com

    Seen in this Glen Ellyn shade landscape: a beautiful late winter- blooming shrub, bright yellow flower, excellent for the shadier gardens! Designs by Glen Ellyn landscaper Ed Max.

     


  5. Landscapes of 2015 part II, Oak Park Il. landscape designs, by Ed Max of Max’s Greener Places and maxlandscape.com

    December 24, 2015 by MAX
    Landscape design, River Forest and Oak Park, by Ed Max, landscaper

    This complete redo was done in 14-15, and is now filling in nicely! You enter the white birch grove on a paver walkway, through seasonal beds of native dropseeds, roses, azalea and more.

    Seasonal bed care and mulch are necessary items, which we do in spring and all season long.