1. A fall season like no other (except last fall?). So that’s TWO wet, cold, snowy fall seasons in a row- what is going on?

    November 25, 2019 by MAX

    Below is a copy of an older blog from a year ago- when we had several snow events, loads of wet days, and very cold temps. Sounds like a broken record-? Fast forward to this November: already have had 2 snow events (one on Halloween), with unreal cold in late October……4 above zero in the far western suburbs.

    Bitternut hickory (Carya) foliage, like so many other species-were still in leaf when the snows came, followed by single digit temps. Many trees and shrubs did not lose leaves, as they froze on the branches. Long term consequences of 2 years of freakish cold so early? TBD.

    With dramatically wetter weather throughout the Great lakes region (ie: record high levels on Lake Michigan), there are also those wild temperature swings (as in early cold spells, polar vortexes etc) and early snowstorms. Much seems to be due to unusual jet streams, and climate change. And as these crazy patterns continue, we see more changes (and damage) to our tree canopy and to the natural communities ( discordant insect vs bird migrations, continually wet soils etc). On the traditional landscape plant list – the damage from early 2019 record low temps (polar vortex) killed off many plant types we have come to love (and perhaps overplant) for decades: boxwood, ornamental Asian maples, Chinese dogwood, and the list goes on…..

    Conclusion: as the climate warms, we had come to accept the idea of planting species accustom to southern and warmer climes. No longer. Conjecture has it that the phenomenon known as the ‘polar vortex’ will continue in future winter months of the upper Midwest, thus knocking back, or killing off southern species. So what to do?

    Perhaps sticking to native species such as *oak, hickory and other hardy northern species- the damage may be lessened? Continuing to plant tender species (Acer palm., Cornus kousa, buxus sp. etc) may be an unwise long- term plan.

    * Plant oaks- help sequester carbon, cool and cleanse the air, and slow the heavier rain loads. Oaks also support more species than any other tree species. Contact us to discuss what species best suits your situation.

    Below- NWS info from 2018:

    PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL
    1332 PM CST SAT DEC 1 2018

    …A Look Back at the Climate for Meteorological Fall (September,
    October, November) 2018 for Chicago and Rockford…

    At Chicago, the average high temperature for the fall season was
    59.3 degrees, which is 2.5 degrees below the 1981 to 2010 average.
    The average low temperature was 44.8 degrees, which is 1.6 degrees
    above normal. The mean temperature for the season was 52.1 degrees,
    which is 0.4 degrees below normal.

    A total of 11.68 inches of precipitation was recorded during this
    past fall, which is 2.17 inches above normal. There was a total of
    12.7 inches of snow recorded at Chicago, which is 11.3 inches above
    normal.

    Records established or tied during the fall months:

    September: Record daily high temperature of 93 degrees on the 20th.

    October: Record daily precipitation of 1.56 inches on the 1st.

    November: Record daily precipitation of 1.20 inches on the 26th.

    At Rockford, the average high temperature was 58.1 degrees, which is
    3.8 degrees below normal. The average low temperature was 40.8
    degrees, which is 0.3 of a degree below normal. The mean temperature
    for the season was 49.4 degrees, which is 2.1 degrees below normal.

    A total of 13.02 inches of precipitation was recorded during this
    past fall, which was 4.42 inches above normal. In addition, a total
    of 15.8 inches of snow was recorded, which is 14 Inches above normal.

    Records established or tied during the fall months:

    September: None.

    October: Record daily precipitation of 1.65 inches on the 1st.
    Record daily low temperature of 22 degrees tied on the 22nd.
    Record daily precipitation of 1.36 inches on the 30th.

    November: Record daily snowfall of 1.8 inches on the 9th.
    Record daily snowfall of 2.1 inches on the 17th.
    Record daily snowfall of 11.7 inches on the 25th.

    Record Snowfall of 15.8 inches for the fall season.

    (Thanks to the NWS)


  2. Fall colors soon? Time for the fall clean up too? And its time to get the correct pruning practices too, on woody shrubs and trees

    October 17, 2017 by MAX

    With a 3 month drought, followed by well over a half foot of water in one day (Oct 12th)- the tree canopy is stressed to say the least.  And let us not forget the opening of 2017, and the lack of regular winter conditions….2017 has not been of the norm….far from it. Is this the new normal regarding climate change going forward?

    Of course, this stresses out trees and most woody species.

    clean up, fall services , landscape clean up, wheaton il,

    A Glen Ellyn Il fall landscape, witch-hazel in color.

    Wheaton, Winfield fall landscape are fall clean up

    Green Mountain Sugar Maple 14 yrs aft install
    A sturdy native species, good fall colors, seen here in a Wheaton fall landscape

    That said –  my bet is we have a rather lackluster fall color display.  And with the ongoing warmth and wonderful weather (who can complain…. mid Oct,  and nary a forsty morn to date)  So,  who dares complain?  When the fall leaf pick up and seasonal bed care comes on, get in touch. We can set up for the clean up and leaf removal. Designs needs too? Winter season is best for us to begin the landscape design process , and get an early jump in spring. Get in touch soon!

     

     


  3. An heirloom landscape for a historic home in old Wheaton, Il.

    May 5, 2017 by MAX

    And what a project it was!  Seen here some 3 to 4 years after. The azaleas,  native redbuds, and serviceberry  (Amelanchier) all add the bright spring colors of this garden. The stone wall was on site , just had to be discovered and dug , then reset! We love doing significant homes , and enjoy researching to discover the proper plant types to fit this home and its architecture. Designed in 1895 by famous architect of the day- Jarvis Hunt. Orig. part of the Chicago Golf Club.

     

    traditional and historic landscapes of Wheaton, Il., custom designs by ed max

    Vintage and historic landscaping in Wheaton Il, and its old neighborhoods

    Cottage gardens of Wheaton, Wheaton landscape design

    Historic home in Wheaton, Il., Vintage landscapes are now 3 yrs old, designed by Ed Max, landscape designer


  4. Help out the local environment by incorporating native species such as Pale Coneflower (Echinachea), a native species of our prairies.

    January 5, 2017 by MAX

    native echinacea is along lived and easy to grow native species, good for poliinators such as butterfly and bees,

    Pale echinachea or pale coneflower is an easy to grow native wildflower, found in our higher quality remnant prairies of the Midwest. Easy to plug into your sunny landscapes- good for native bees and butterflies.

     

    Native species require little if any fertilizer, little water (once established), no need for pesticides, and are a huge benefit for local and endangered insect and butterfly species- such as our imperiled monarch butterfly. Simply incorporate such species into a sunny bed in your yard. Contact us for further info.

     


  5. Fine foliage of the Maidenhair Fern (seen in this Wheaton Il. shade garden)

    January 2, 2017 by MAX

    Woodland species, native ferns of the Chicagoland area, native landscapes by Ed Max and max's greener places

    Maidenhair fern has an unusual leaf, with black stems. Landscape designer Ed Max’s favorite native fern.

     

    Contact Max’s Greener Places for spring designs and installations!

     


  6. A Glen Ellyn landscape design- adds color and privacy to this outdoor living space (3 yrs aft)

    January 21, 2016 by MAX

     

    • Glen Ellyn Il landscape design: showing a small raised bed which encloses this  outdoor patio space and pergola. We used many low maint. native species plus the ever-blooming ‘Rosanne’ Geranium, and Peach ‘Drift’ Rose. A colorful palette of plants to be sure- in this landscape for seasonal color and winter interest.
    • Natural stone walls were built to hold the new planting to compliment this vintage Glen Ellyn residence
    • Perennials and native species selected for their hardiness and drought tolerance.
    • Color year-round with varied species

     

     

    Landscape company in Glen Ellyn, and Wheaton, Lombard landscapes, patios and stone walls by Ed Mx

    An outdoor living space and Glen Ellyn landscape make over & design by Max’s Greener Places. Utilizing native species and grasses ( important for many reasons- CONTACT us to learn more), plus many perennials are seen,  DRIFT roses and juniper for winter cover.

     

     


  7. Destructive Pine sawflies on Mugho Pine in Wheaton Il. Contact certified arborist Ed Max for consultation on your trees and shrubs.

    December 21, 2015 by MAX

    Arborist Ed Max of West Chicago Il

    Pine sawfly can strip your mugho and scotch pine foliage. Feeding on last years foliage will leave the plants  looking ragged. Planting species that are not on the sawfly menu helps as does being on alert in early spring and removal before the damage is done. A hard spray of water, shaking the shrubs, or applying BT ( a natural bacteria)Contact certified arborist Ed Max through the contact us button above for advice on your landscapes soon.

     

     

     

     

     


  8. The benefits of fire on this small remnant prairie in Carol Stream, Il, lit by naturalist Ed Max and crew of Max’s Greener Places

    by MAX

    caring for rare plants and controlled burns by Ed Max of West Chicago, Il., prairie plants and fire.

    Fire is the key ingredient to maintaining these few prairie remnants we have left in the Chicagoland area, like this one near Wheaton and Carol Stream IL,
    Experienced naturalist and landscape designer Ed Max led his team on this annual burn. As seen in this picture…it was a success!
    Fire keeps the invasives at bay, and recycles the old growth and debris.
    See maxlandcape.com for more on caring for your open spaces.

    Contact Ed Max for advice and ideas for your prairie, and adding native  species to your landscape palette.

     

     

     

     


  9. Designer Ed Max’s landscapes in fall, near West Chicago Il.

    December 7, 2015 by MAX

    Edward Max, landscape designer, landscapers of Wheaton and Winfield, using Drought tolerant species for a sun bed , landscape in West Chicago, Winfield, Wheaton Il area,

    Xeriscapes designed by Landscape designer Ed Max of West Chicago Il, and maxlandscape.com: Cactus, thyme, plus dropseeds( Sporobolus)-all planted in this harsh sunny spot and hold up well. Seen in this West Chicago, Il garden in mid season.

     

     

     


  10. White Lady’s Slipper Orchid (Cypripedium can.)

    May 22, 2015 by MAX

    Another good year for these rare (threatened status in Ill.) orchids. I’ve had the uncommon chance to witness two large stands of these beauties in Dupage Co, and two days apart in two diff. areas!
    Fond of fens, and calcareous soils, these native orchids were once plentiful. Now, with few remnant prairies, we need to do all we can to protect their health through habitat quality, such as burning, and keeping invasive species at bay. Slow to reproduce, they also tend to get browsed by hungry deer.

    landscape design by ed max, maxlandscape.com,

    Wheaton native habitats, and landscapes, natural landscapes of the West Chicago area.


    Native landscapes of the western suburbs of Chicago are at your fingertips! Do not dig wild orchids. They can be bought from reputable on-line sources.
    Call us for landscape design services or for a quote to renovate your existing landscpaes and woodlands.