1. Think spring (and plan for it now) New landscapes, garden designs, revisit that old shade garden

    February 14, 2018 by MAX

    And NOW is the time to get in touch! We offer landscape designs, patio layout, paver renovations, Woodland and natural landscapes, plus shade gardens, and perennial bed installations: Wheaton, Geneva, Naperville, Oak Park, and many more communities where our landscapes can be seen. ED is also an arborist, so we can talk tree health and plant health!

    maxlandscape.com, West Chicago native wildflower

    Pure white blooms in mid spring, native to Winfield, West Chicago woodland areas


    We offer native and shade garden designs, to liven up those darker corners of the property,

  2. Bloodroot: a native of fleeting beauty

    April 10, 2015 by MAX




    native plants, in a woodland landscape of West Chicago Il, maxlandscape.com,  Ed Max arborist, landscape design in Wheaton, Il

    A native wildflower – Bloodroot ( Sanguineria), has a bright daisy like bloom, very short bloom period, but well worth the effort to establish.



    landscape design near West Chicago and Wheaton il,

    Just emerging native bloodroot, a wonderful addition to the early Shade garden

    Native wildflowers – also call ‘Spring Ephemerals, inhabit our better quality woodlands, especially oak woodlands, where these fleeting blooms have evolved under the boughs of oaks since the last of the glaciers receded some 10,000 years ago. Their moji is to sprout, bloom, germinate, collect energy for their reserves, and then decline to dormancy: all before the elaves fully emerge above! Whew! Hence the reason to get out into your local oak grove to witness their fleeting beauty!


  3. Controlled burns benefit the woodlands and gardens.

    March 18, 2015 by MAX


    Woodland gardens of Winfield, maxlandscape.co, Ed max certified arborist of west chicago, shade gardens ofg wheaton

    Same area of this woodland garden a month after the fire – what a difference!

    caption id=”attachment_1369″ align=”aligncenter” width=”300″]maxlandscape.com does burns, and landscape care, Ed Max, landscape designer,  max's greener places,  landscape services near St. Charles,  Geneva lawn and garden care. Controlled burns benefit the landscapes and natural woodland gardens. As seem here in the woodlands of Dupage Co. near West Chicago and Winfield, Il.[/caption]

    Controlled fires can make a quick clean up of a messy, and leaf clogged woodland. Be sure to have the proper permits, safety training, and water at the ready! Use an experienced crew to burn your prairies and woodlands. Your open spaces will appreciate it!

    Call us or email to set a consultation date.


  4. Late winter blooms , 3/18/15

    by MAX


    maxlandscape.com max's greener places,  Ed max, landscape designer, West Chicago landscapers company, landscape consultations of Wheaton,  Glen Ellyn Il landscaping

    Yes, you can have loads of color in mid March, by planting the right mix of early blooming species such as aconites, witchhazels and more. Max can help with that!

    Spring is the time to spruce up the landscapes. Design services, lawn and garden maintenance, spring clean ups, burns, and shrub and tree care avail. West Chicago based landscape company, near Winfield, and Wheaton, St. Charles and Geneva landscape services.

  5. Massive White Pine (P.strobus) in winter (click on pic)

    February 8, 2015 by MAX
    Arborsit info, maxlandscape.com, pine trees in the landscapes, max's greener places, Ed Max, arborist

    A grand specimen White pine, on the road close to Princeton’s cemetery, where the state’s largest pine exists.

    Pine and other evergreen materials add so much in our Midwestern winters and the landscapes. Seen here is a grand white pine dwarfing this  (late)  1800’s era home  in Princeton, Il. It would be my guess that this specimen has to be close to the age of the house, making it at least 125-150 yrs old.






  6. and …..more on those nasty invasives …..

    January 27, 2015 by MAX
    native landscapes by max's greener places, winfield, il, maxlandscape.com, landscaper in west chicago

    Snowfall on the unfrozen river in January. Again, invasive buckthorn can be clearly seen along the shoreline-(the low heavily flocked shrubs)  plus super invasive Reed Canary grass dominating the shoreline, with floodplain tree species rising above.  Off Geneva Rd, the west branch of the DuPage River.

    From Wiki info:

    Rhamnus cathartica is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing up to 10 m tall, with grey-brown bark and spiny branches. The leaves are elliptic to oval, 2.5–9 cm long and 1.2–3.5 cm broad; they are green, turning yellow in autumn, and are arranged somewhat variably in opposite to subopposite pairs or alternately. The flowers are yellowish-green, with four petals; they are dioecious and insect pollinated. The fruit is a globose black drupe 6–10 mm diameter containing two to four seeds; it is mildly poisonous for people, but readily eaten by birds, which disperse the seeds in their droppings.
    The species was originally named by Linnaeus as Rhamnus catharticus.

    The seeds and leaves are considered toxic to humans and animals, causing stomach cramps and laxative effects thought to serve a function in seed dispersal. The chemical compounds responsible for this laxative effect are anthraquinone[9] and emodin cathartica as the genus name Rhamnus is of feminine gender.

    Rhamnus cathartica is shade-tolerant, moderately fast-growing and short-lived. It is a food plant of the Brimstone butterfly. The sulphur-yellow males are indicative of the plant’s presence.

    Secondary compounds, particularly emodin, have been found in fruit, leaves, and bark of the plant which may protect the plant from insects, herbivores, and pathogens.[12] Emodin present in R. cathartica fruit may serve purposes of prevention of early consumption, as it is found most in unripe fruits, which allows seeds to reach maturity before being dispersed. Birds and mice significantly avoid eating unripe fruits, and if forced to ingest emodin or unripe fruit, the animals regurgitate the meal or produce loose, watery stools.
    Allelopathic effects of exudates from R. cathartica leaf litter, roots, bark, leaves, and fruit may reduce germination of other plant species in the soil. Soils in buckthorn dominated areas are higher in nitrogen and carbon than normal soils, which speed up decomposition rates of leaf litter.This can result in bare patches of soil being formed and R. cathartica performs well in such disturbed habitats, so this may be adaptive for the setting of its seed.

    The species is naturalised and invasive in parts of North America.[3][14][12] R. cathartica has a competitive advantage compared to native trees and shrubs in North America because it leafs out before native species.[15] The early emergence of their leaves in the spring and can shade out the growth of native plants. 27-35% of the annual carbon gain in R. cathartica comes from photosynthesis occurring before the leaves of other plants emerge. [9] Soil in woodlands dominated by R. cathartica was higher in nitrogen, pH, and water content than soil in woodlands relatively free of R. cathartica,[16][17] probably because R. cathartica has high levels of nitrogen in its leaves and these leaves rapidly decompose.
    R. cathartica is also associated with invasive European earthworms (Lumbricus sp.) in the northern Midwest of North America.[18] Removing R. cathartica led to a decrease of invasive earthworm biomass of around 50%.[19]

    Control methods[edit]
    It is difficult to control because it sprouts vigorously and repeatedly from the root collar following cutting, girdling, or burning.[21] Herbicide application to newly cut stumps is a popular and effective control method. However, seeds stay viable in the soil for several years before sprouting, so repeated treatments and long-term monitoring of infested areas is required.[22] Garlon and Tordon, as well as their derivatives, have been found to be effective chemical means. Roundup can be used but is less reliable. [9] An application of these chemicals in early winter reduces the risk of negatively impacting non-target species, as most have gone dormant by this time. It is also easier to spot infestations at this time of the year, as its leaves stay out an average of 58 days longer than native plants.[9]
    Mechanical control methods such as pulling and chopping of plants are more environmentally friendly, but also very time consuming. Plants with stems less than half an inch in diameter or less than a meter tall can easily be pulled, but pulling risks disturbing the roots of adjacent, native plants and harming them as well.[22] Propane-weed torches may also be used to kill seedlings and they will generally not re-sprout if burned in spring or early summer.[9]






  7. Discovering the true value of your trees, or trees you might be condisering:

    October 12, 2014 by MAX
    Give it a try- quite interesting, and an eye-opener. Trees are (in my opinion) greatlyundervalued. Seen below is a chart to use to discover their benefits!

    Thanks to Davey tree and others, now you can with ease!

    Then get out and plant that tree!





    Understanding This Tool:The Tree Benefit Calculator allows anyone to make a simple estimation of the benefits individual street-side trees provide. This tool is based on i-Tree’s street tree assessment tool called STREETS. With inputs of location, species and tree size, users will get an understanding of the environmental and economic value trees provide on an annual basis.The Tree Benefit Calculator is intended to be simple and accessible. As such, this tool should be considered a starting point for understanding trees’ value in the community, rather than a scientific accounting of precise values. For more detailed information on urban and community forest assessments, visit the i-Tree website.

    National Tree Benefit Calculator

    Thank you for choosing this site to calculate the
    economic and ecological benefits of your tree.
    Find your climate zone to get started:
    Enter your zip code below:
    Select a zone from the map

  8. And you thought YOUR trees were too tall or too close to the house?

    February 28, 2014 by MAX
    Massive 100’+ REDWOOD   Must have been planted sometime after this Napa res. was built? And to think- It’s only a youngster. Another 1000 years to go? 🙂

    maxlandcape.com, arborist services

    Coastal Redwood (Sequoia semp.)


  9. Oak Park /River Forest Landscapes:

    February 13, 2014 by MAX
    oak park landscapers, maxlandscape.com

    Utilized many of the existing plants to renovate this charming old home

    landscapers, oak park, maxlandscape.com

    another vintage landscape utilizing native and vintage plants, plus new intros, all to create a colorful and lively landscape

    We are the design/landscapers that have been creating wonderful, and fun landscape settings in Oak Park for years:


  10. Garden Structures (functional or not) can lend to the scenery and enhance the landscape.

    January 7, 2014 by MAX

    Natural landscapes enhanced by the bridge, maxlandscape.com

    Functional as well as handsome. Made from native materials found on site.

    Structures in the garden can add interest and aid in drawing the eye to a part of the garden that might otherwise go unnoticed. Here we have a naturalistic wooden bridge- functional too, spanning a wetland and  made from materials found on sight: limbs &  lg logs from rot-resistant species such as Black Locust (Robinia), Walnut, and Oak. Not only do bridges, sheds, or scultpures add color and folly, but also give the landscapes an additional line of sight and can help pull it all together!