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. Elasticity seen in various species during and after the heavy snows of late November 2018

    December 2, 2018 by MAX

    We all saw the effects of this crazy late fall blizzard: bent trees (almost strictly mulberry, boxelder and white pine were most impacted species), flattened arborvitae, snapped pine limbs, and lost power. It was a doozie of a system, not seen or experienced in the western suburbs of Chicago in some time!

    Seen here are pics of bent Bald Cypress (Taxodium dist.) , damaged White pine (P. strobus) and  much unfortunate damage to Arborvitae (Thuja), and redbud, which is a species obviously susceptible to snow lads as we saw in this last blast.

    landscaping for the changing climate with durable trees such as bald cypress. Native landscaper Ed Max using weltand species for native landscapes.

    Snow-laden cypress morning after the heavy winter storm of late fall, and the ability of tree species to withstand damage. Blad cypress are a nice species to consdider for wet areas of the yard, fond of moisture, but a versatile plant. Will grow large, so needs room!
    A deciduous evergreen tree species- loses it’s needle after turning a lovely copper color in fall.Native to southern Il where you can see taxodium over a 1000 years old at the Cache river preserve in the Shawnee N.F.

     

     

     

     

     


  3. Milkweed (time to rename this one- it ain’t no stinkin weed!) Its actually a fantastic plant for your garden, and it helps save an imperiled species. Whats not to like? Except the weed part in it name?

    July 23, 2018 by MAX

    Ed Max collects milkweed species and uses in designs where he can.

    One of our more common milkweeds, and a life line to the struggling monarch populations. Plant more milkweed! Maxlandscape plants milkweed and all the other pollinator species to benefit butterflys and pollinators.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    landacpe with natives, natural landscapes designs by Ed Max, West Chicago, Il.

    Butterfly milkweed at Bluff Spring Fen, Elgin (also an asclepias)

     

     

    more butterfly weed, is a milkweed. Very pretty! Maxlandscape is a natives design company

    Aesclepias, native milkweed near Belmont prairie

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As the summer winds along on its way-too-fast trajectory, do not let the summer slip away without planting pollinator friendly species- and milkweed. The bugs and pollinators will appreciate it! And so will you!

    Contact us about a nice list of mega pollinators- as in plants that really draw them in. Some do more than others!

    Late summer is a good time to seed, or plant plugs, well before winter. And have fun!

     


  4. Buttonbush (a native shrub for wet areas) Oakbrook landscape and wetland seen:

    February 26, 2017 by MAX

    And (as seen here), a butterfly magnet. Cool bloom in summer, drab yellow in fall. Masses in sunnier wets and you’re on to something interesting and beneficial to the local pollinators . Landscape with natives, as seen in this Oak Brook landscape  and wetland area.

    Bee gardens, native plantings by Ed Max, arborist and naturalist.

    In this Oakbrook landscape project we added wetland tolerant and native species, plus more traditional species- all of which help out the local butterfly and insect populations. Call for a native or Bee garden today!

     

    Contact us soon for a design, or consultation and list of native species for your gardens!