1. 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.

  2. A woodland garden comes into bloom

    April 30, 2017 by MAX

     

     

    wheaton il landscape comapnies, wheaotn il designers

    Shade gardens and wooded landscape renovations. Adding in azaleas, redbud, native perennials, and hydrangeas.

     

    shade gardens , bleeding heart,

    shade gardens , bleeding heart,


  3. An early spring perhaps? Seen here in a Wheaton Il shade garden in bloom, in the snow.

    March 5, 2016 by MAX

    A sight for sore eyes: this is one of many witch-hazels in our collections here. This winter blooming shrub adds serious color to an early winter garden! Hammemalis ‘Jelena’ with its fiery and fragrant bloom- seems out of place in the snow!

    Landscape design and landscape care in West Chicago. and Wheaton Il, Ed Max is a landscape designer and naturalist

    Winter colors in the garden. Seen here in a woodland landscape in West Chicago, Winfield area. Extend landscape colors and interests by diversifying shrub content. The bees too appreciate it!

     

    Excellent fall colors are another reason to plant the beautiful witch-hazels (Hammemalis sp.), easy to care for too, and tolerate (prefer) some shade and evenly moist, rich soils.

    Glen Ellyn landscape designs  by  Ed Max and maxlandsscape.com

    Seen in this Glen Ellyn shade landscape: a beautiful late winter- blooming shrub, bright yellow flower, excellent for the shadier gardens! Designs by Glen Ellyn landscaper Ed Max.

     


  4. Hardy Cactus in the Chicagoland landscape. One of designer and naturalist Ed Max’s favorite native perennials; as seen in this Oak Park Il prairie landscape

    December 21, 2015 by MAX

    Opuntia (Prickly Pear cactus) is a native of sandier habitats within the Chicagoland Wilderness. Adding them into your drier, sunnier beds will add a blast of lemon yellow blooms in late spring, followed by the edible fruit in late summer. Super hardy, just averse to wet conditions, so placement is important.

    landscape with natives , Ed Max is an arborist, naturalist and landscape designer from Wheaton, and Naperville Il.

    Native, spiny, and edible cactus in the landscapes of West Chicago, and St. Charles. Landscape designer Ed Max uses this unusual native often. Easy to care for- just be sure its in a well drained and sunny location! This perennial can be  part of your drier locations too with little fuss.

    Bloom time: late spring , early summer. Easy to care for, just a bit spiny!

     

     


  5. Paver walkways and landing, as part of an new Oak Park landscape

    April 16, 2015 by MAX

     

    landscapes and patios design, oak park, il, maxlandscape.com

    Oak Park Il vintage looking pavers utilized to compliment the new addition to the rear of this 110+ yr old home.

     

    Though not completed as of yet, we will eventually add in a new back paver walkway, a new lawn oval, plus a landscaped perimeter utilizing shade tolerant species, and many natives. The ribbon of  chocolate colored clay paver is called ‘Copthorne’, very reminiscent of the old street paver. Picks up the colors of the house quite nicely!

     

     

     

     


  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).