1. 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.


  2. 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


  3. A new Wheaton landscape for an old historic Wheaton home by local landscaper Ed Max and his landscape service – Max’s Greener Places

    January 16, 2016 by MAX

    This on-going landscape renovation has been exciting and like an archeological dig when pulling up the old beds and shrubs etc. only to discover the roots of an old landscape in this vintage Wheaton Il landscape. Wheaton landscaper Ed Max has had a fun time replacing this tired yew hedge with new and somewhat heirloom landscape design ustilizing old fashion landscape plants such as roses, redbuds, and spireas (the heirloom waterfall type called ‘Bridal veil’-not those nasty over-used pink varieties). We also incorporated many native species (dropseed, serviceberries, ginger, and bluebells) for added interest and color.

    Before: a tired landscape, after the fire

     

    Wheaton landscape company, landscapes of Wheaton Il, wheaton il landscapeers, lawn and garden landscape care in Wheaton, Il, Ed Max landscapes, maxlandscape.com, vintage landscapes in Oak Park, Wheaton, Hinsdale landscapes, Wheaton Il vintage landscape designs, max's greener places of Winfield, Il.

    A wonderful Wheaton, Il. Jarvis Hunt home that had sustained much damage after a fire . Wheaton Il landscape by Ed Max used many historically accurate plantings, plus many native species, for a complimentary landscape design. See next pic.

     

    Landscapes of Wheaton, Wheaton Il landscape design, designs by ed max, maxlandscsape.co.m

    Wheaton home after the fire. Seen here is this lovely remake after burn . Landscape design, new exterior and porch. Landscape designs by Ed Max and Max’s Greener Places, using a nice variety of plant types, and differing bloom times. Seen here shortly after completion in fall.

    Wheaton landscaping services

    Another view from the west. This landscape should compliment this grand dame with several redbuds with their pin k blossom in spring, plus pine for cover and winter green, sumac, dwf. roses and more…

     


  4. 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.


  5. Asimina: the native Pawpaw

    April 24, 2015 by MAX
    native trees, Ed max arborist, maxlandscape.com

    Of the custard family, and the only one of
    N A.. Highly edible fruit, long leaf, nice fall colors, a woodland denizen, forms colonies. To 20′.

    Seen here is its truly unusual maroon blossom. Takes two to cross pollinate!

    Site in :

    Full sun, part shade, in rich humus soils really helps.


  6. Early blooming plants in the late winter landscapes of West Chicago and Wheaton area.

    March 13, 2015 by MAX
    maxlandscape company in Winfiled, West Chicago, Wheaton shade gardens and landscaping

    Native and ornamental witchhazels attract pollinators, which is especially important early in the season for these hungry bees, as seen in this colorful landscape in West Chicago Wheaton area. Seen… the hungry honeybee here……and  On March 12th.!!!

    Seen: Hammemalis ‘Arnold’s Promise’

     

     

    Landscape design services ( Glen Ellyn, Wheaton,  Winfield,  West Chicago, Lisle, Geneva gardens, St. Charles Il)  focusing on your likes and needs. Contact us now, the gardens as seen here have started popping! !!

    Spring cleaning up and mulch time too!

    * (for the record…1st blooms seen on 3/10 in this Midwestern woodland garden).

     

     

     

     


  7. A new landscape for a historic Wheaton, Il. Jarvis Hunt home

    March 18, 2014 by MAX
    A vintage landscape for a vintage Wheaton home!

     

    Left: mid 90’s landscapes

     

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

     

    landscapes of wheaotn, il, maxlandscape.com   Then the fires of 2011.

    Wheaton Il landscape company, maxlandscape.com

    Landscape renovations underway: we pull all the old landscape, several invasive  Norway maple are culled to allow more light. We also rebuilt the old flagstone wall with ‘found’ stone- buried by years of organic debris.

     

    Wheaton landscaping services

    Another view from the west. This landscape should compliment this grand dame with several redbuds with their pink blossom in spring, plus serviceberry, white pine for cover and winter green, sumac, dwf. coral roses, Everlow yew, azalea, and more…