1. Native trees of Illinois: The Famous White oak of McNab Illinois. The State Champion oak tree – and what a tree it is!

    January 18, 2019 by MAX
    White oak state champion tree seen by Ed Max in McNab Il, SW of Starved Rock.
    An incredible specimen. And the photo does not do justice. This White Oak 
    (native to Illinois and the Midwest ) is the largest of its species, 
    nearly 120 ft across!
    The white oak is a durable oak, and can grow to immense size as
    seen here. White oak or Quercus alba has a small acorn, and helps
    to support 100’s of species ; from mammals to fungi, to insects.
    And important species that we should be using much more in our
    urban and suburban landscapes, where space allows.
    A species for the future:
    As the climate continues to warm, the White oak may be a suitable landscape tree (native to the south), able to tolerate a tougher, drier, warmer climate going forward.





    Plant an oak today! Call Arborist Ed Max to set up a consultation on caring for your oaks, or for installing a few new red, bur or white oak, in your landscapes.


  2. The newest Illinois state champion tree: the lg. 200 year old Cottonwood near Byron Il. (plus the previous state champ…the giant bald cypress of the Shawnee, est to be nearly 1250 yrs old)

    January 3, 2019 by MAX

    The Champ- a huge, two-stemmed Cottonwood (Champ trees are determined by their height, trunk circumference, and crown spread (points x 3 categories) which totals to make this giant the largest tree in the state of Illinois.

    A Native Cottonwood- and largest tree of Illinois. There are dozens of native trees in Ill, and few grow the size of Cottonwoods, or as fast.
    Quite a giant; situated in a protected valley, near gravel prairies, and wind swept hilltops. An easy trip from the Chicagoland area. That’s me, Perspective: That’s me, Ed, in the pic….and Im 6ft 4″.

    Cottonwoods (Populus Deltoides) can grow to enormous size and usually the tallest trees of the urban forests and wilderness areas of the Chicagoland region. Perching birds (eagles, hawks, owls) can often be seen in tall cottonwoods as they are great vantage points for spying prey, and awesome roosts!
    Fond of water, they are usually found along stream beds or low-lying areas that rarely dry. Also found in the arroyos of the SW, and the wetlands of the east….a vast territory for this species.

    New clones of cottonwood can be found for sale, though usually male, so as not to create the dreaded ‘cotton’ plumes of summer.

    Discovered a few years ago, near the Bald Hill Prairie thus knocking out the Cache river Bald Cypress (seen below) ….another serious giant, found in the watery backwaters in the Cache (the everglades of the north) in the Shawnee N.F..

    The Cache swamps are the northerly- most naturally occuring wetlands containing bald cypress and tupelo in North America. Taxodium can be found all the way to the keys in So. Florida, and along the gulf. Their range can be extended north into southern Wisconsin if placed in the right conditions.

    In the Chicagoland area; cypress are popular as street trees, landscape specimens and a great tree for wet areas.

    They can grow for a millenia!

    Bald cypress are fond of water- and will grow for centuries, or perhaps thousands of years if lucky.
    State champ bald cypress Il, 36 ft circ. 1200 yr old! Seen here with some from the Illinois Native Plant Society Annual gathering in 2016.

  3. An effort to preserve ancient oaks (and restore the woodlands)

    November 20, 2018 by MAX

    Ed Max is an arborist with Maxs Greener Places, of West Chicago, Wheaton area , maxlandscape.com

    We care deeply about the preservation and care of centuries -old oaks such as this behemoth (Bur oak) and the species that have coevolved among the oak biome. Ed Max is an arborist and naturalist involved in oak woodland projects in the Chicagoland Wilderness.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Woodland restorations begin in winter, planning and cleaning.


  4. 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,


  5. Dance of the Wood Betony (Pedicularis), a lovely parasitic native

    May 2, 2017 by MAX

    Native landscape by ed max, butterlfy gardens of wheaton, glen elly woodland native species, west chicago native landscapes, natural landscape by ed max,

    Swirling beauty! This semi parasitic native of our higher quality prairies is quite a sight in spring.   Easily spotted when little else is in bloom in the prairie or oak savanna.

    • Not a plant easily obtained. Not recommended for most gardens – just a fun plant worth knowing and looking for while hiking.
    • Always buy native species (especially rarer types) from known and reputable growers. Never dig plants (such as betony), as they will most likely drop dead upon arrival to your gardens!
    • Inquire for plant lists and growers whom are local.
    • Designer Ed Max is also cert naturalist plus cert arborist, and designs many gardens , woodlands, and other properties (both traditional and naturalistic) and meshes native with non-native species for wonderful and varied garden and landscape!

  6. Another landscape design and renovation in Oak Park, Il. by Max’s Greener Places

    January 29, 2017 by MAX

    new landscapes and landscape designs in oak park and river forest by ed max

    A view of this lovely home of Oak Park before we began the landscape design and renovations.

    50 yr old shrubs removed, new stone retaining walls added, plus new shrubs and perennials.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Oak Park landscape company, Ed Max, Oak Park landscape designer,

    Landscape designs, and landscape renovations seen here after the tear out and stone wall construction in Oak Park.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Contact Ed for landscape ideas and consultations now!

     

     

     

     


  7. Brighten up those darker areas with Annabelle Hydrangea, as in this Naperville landscape and shade garden.

    January 6, 2017 by MAX

    Shrubs for shade by Ed Max, landscape designs in Naperville Il,Naperville Il landscape company,

    A cultivar of the native Hydrangea arborescens, this beauty called Annabella Hydrangea has been around a while, but still fits it’s niche in a woodland or shade garden landscape.
    This Naperville landscape project had an emphasis on light colored blooms , and white flowers to light up a dark border bed, or liven up a moon garden. Seen here after dark, this shrub blooms in eatly to mid summer. The bloom fades to a green then brown as it dries.
    Simply cut back to knee high in late winter (important). Feeding is not necessary, just water when dru. That’s it. Easy to divide as well.
    One of our go to plants for shade gardens, naturalistic landscapes, and on terraced walls.