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. 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!

     


  4. Snowdrops make an early winter appearance in this West Chicago wooded landscape!

    January 31, 2016 by MAX
    native landscapes of Wheaton, West Chicago landscape design, ed max design guy

    West Chicago landscape with Snowdrops peeking through the snow as of late January of 2016!

     

    Landscaping in the woodlands and shaded areas can be challenging. With the right plant combos, there will be color from late winter through fall.

    Call or email now for a landscape consultation and design.

     

     


  5. 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.

     

     


  6. 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…

     


  7. Native perennials in this West Chicago Landscape. (Mertensia virg., Bluebells)

    May 5, 2015 by MAX
    native landscapes of West Chicago,  custom design and landscapes of Wheaton,  shade gardens of Winfield

    In this wooded garden ….the Bluebells are thriving and in full bloom on Cinco de Mayo 2015, West Chicago Il, 60185.

    Native landscapes and pathways made of wood. Seen here in the shade garden. Stone and pavers aee also well suited for a shade garden or native landscape.


  8. 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!

     


  9. Lenten Rose (Helebores), right on schedule

    April 7, 2015 by MAX
    maxlandscape.com landscapers in Downers Grove, landscape company in Naperville Il

    This beauty….just before Easter in a Naperville perennial garden….in bloom….hence the name….Lenten Rose.

    landscape company of West Chicago 60185, Ed max, naturalist, and arborist of Winfield Il

    Hardy clump – forming, long lived Helebores. Seen in this Geneva Il perennial landscape, cottage garden.

     

    These special Shade gardens of Geneva Il hold Lg quantities of very old Helebores, which naturalize over time.

     

     

     

     

     

     


  10. Natural stone beauty of the Shawnee, deep in So Il.

    March 30, 2015 by MAX
    native and natural landscapes,maxlandscape.com

    One of many natural rock cascades: this one near the old stone fort, within Giant City   S. P., on a fine, early spring day in March!

     

    Landscape season is upon us, finally!