1. Illinois State Champion White Oak (Quercus a.) near McNabb, Il.

    May 2, 2017 by MAX

    What a monster! To stand near this great plant is awesome! Thought to be at least 350 to 400 yrs old. SW of Starved Rock in the entrance to a farmhouse, you too can see it, near the roadside.

    native oaks, record size trees of Illinois

    Record size state champ, White oak. A very lg. tree.

     

    Oaks are an important species in the Midwest and in the Chicagoland area. Encourage oak planting. Many species rely on the oak for food and shelter. The native population of most oak species is on the decline due to disease, changing climate and especially due to invasive species such as buckthorn and Asian honeysuckle. Little to no regeneration of oaks means that as the large specimens as een here decline, we stand to lose a true legacy tree of the Midwest. Red , bur and white oak were the oak species most common a century ago, when fire was a common occurrence on the prairie.

    Today, with lack of fire, they are losing ground. So plant an oak today!

     


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

    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!

  3. 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,


  4. 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!

     


  5. 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.

     

     


  6. Fire in the natural landscape: essential

    April 16, 2015 by MAX
    native lanndscapes and management by Ed max, maxlandscape.com

    An incredible remnant patch of virgin prairie, smack dab in the middle of an otherwise drab and industrialized area next to a very old pioneer cemetery.

     

    Fire, herbicide and labor are the only things we have to save gems filled with a rare habitat such as this virgin patch of prairie. Without intervention, this prairie would be overrun with invasive species, thus shading out the incredible array of plant species that can be found in St. Stephens Prairie, near the cemetery. Not often do we find a patch of undisturbed land from the 1800’s and perhaps long before that!

     

     


  7. 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!

     


  8. and …..more on those nasty invasives …..

    January 27, 2015 by MAX
    native landscapes by max's greener places, winfield, il, maxlandscape.com, landscaper in west chicago

    Snowfall on the unfrozen river in January. Again, invasive buckthorn can be clearly seen along the shoreline-(the low heavily flocked shrubs)  plus super invasive Reed Canary grass dominating the shoreline, with floodplain tree species rising above.  Off Geneva Rd, the west branch of the DuPage River.

    From Wiki info:

    Rhamnus cathartica is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing up to 10 m tall, with grey-brown bark and spiny branches. The leaves are elliptic to oval, 2.5–9 cm long and 1.2–3.5 cm broad; they are green, turning yellow in autumn, and are arranged somewhat variably in opposite to subopposite pairs or alternately. The flowers are yellowish-green, with four petals; they are dioecious and insect pollinated. The fruit is a globose black drupe 6–10 mm diameter containing two to four seeds; it is mildly poisonous for people, but readily eaten by birds, which disperse the seeds in their droppings.
    The species was originally named by Linnaeus as Rhamnus catharticus.

    The seeds and leaves are considered toxic to humans and animals, causing stomach cramps and laxative effects thought to serve a function in seed dispersal. The chemical compounds responsible for this laxative effect are anthraquinone[9] and emodin cathartica as the genus name Rhamnus is of feminine gender.

    Rhamnus cathartica is shade-tolerant, moderately fast-growing and short-lived. It is a food plant of the Brimstone butterfly. The sulphur-yellow males are indicative of the plant’s presence.

    Allelopathy-
    Secondary compounds, particularly emodin, have been found in fruit, leaves, and bark of the plant which may protect the plant from insects, herbivores, and pathogens.[12] Emodin present in R. cathartica fruit may serve purposes of prevention of early consumption, as it is found most in unripe fruits, which allows seeds to reach maturity before being dispersed. Birds and mice significantly avoid eating unripe fruits, and if forced to ingest emodin or unripe fruit, the animals regurgitate the meal or produce loose, watery stools.
    Allelopathic effects of exudates from R. cathartica leaf litter, roots, bark, leaves, and fruit may reduce germination of other plant species in the soil. Soils in buckthorn dominated areas are higher in nitrogen and carbon than normal soils, which speed up decomposition rates of leaf litter.This can result in bare patches of soil being formed and R. cathartica performs well in such disturbed habitats, so this may be adaptive for the setting of its seed.

    The species is naturalised and invasive in parts of North America.[3][14][12] R. cathartica has a competitive advantage compared to native trees and shrubs in North America because it leafs out before native species.[15] The early emergence of their leaves in the spring and can shade out the growth of native plants. 27-35% of the annual carbon gain in R. cathartica comes from photosynthesis occurring before the leaves of other plants emerge. [9] Soil in woodlands dominated by R. cathartica was higher in nitrogen, pH, and water content than soil in woodlands relatively free of R. cathartica,[16][17] probably because R. cathartica has high levels of nitrogen in its leaves and these leaves rapidly decompose.
    R. cathartica is also associated with invasive European earthworms (Lumbricus sp.) in the northern Midwest of North America.[18] Removing R. cathartica led to a decrease of invasive earthworm biomass of around 50%.[19]

    Control methods[edit]
    It is difficult to control because it sprouts vigorously and repeatedly from the root collar following cutting, girdling, or burning.[21] Herbicide application to newly cut stumps is a popular and effective control method. However, seeds stay viable in the soil for several years before sprouting, so repeated treatments and long-term monitoring of infested areas is required.[22] Garlon and Tordon, as well as their derivatives, have been found to be effective chemical means. Roundup can be used but is less reliable. [9] An application of these chemicals in early winter reduces the risk of negatively impacting non-target species, as most have gone dormant by this time. It is also easier to spot infestations at this time of the year, as its leaves stay out an average of 58 days longer than native plants.[9]
    Mechanical control methods such as pulling and chopping of plants are more environmentally friendly, but also very time consuming. Plants with stems less than half an inch in diameter or less than a meter tall can easily be pulled, but pulling risks disturbing the roots of adjacent, native plants and harming them as well.[22] Propane-weed torches may also be used to kill seedlings and they will generally not re-sprout if burned in spring or early summer.[9]