Monday, August 6, 2012

Maple Tree Planting Guide

Plant a maple and this spectacular tree will enhance your landscape with their bright golden, orange or red autumn leaves.   When mature the maple tree is 25 to 35 feet tall.  This full and rounded tree has a straight trunk and large leaves with five points.  In early spring, the maple tree will produce flowers that are in a cluster of 5 to 10.  

The flowers will fall from the tree and the winged seeds will fall shortly after.  The leaves will grow in and cover all of the branches providing dense shade for your outdoor living space.  If you desire a beautiful shade tree then plant a sugar maple tree in late winter, early spring or fall but do not plant in the summer. 

 Buy a healthy tree that is 2 to 5 foot.  Maple trees grow fast.  I planted a tree from a seed and the tree was four feet tall within two growing season.   

If you buy a tree from a nursery check all trees that have wax-coated burlap covering, as these trees usually have entwined roots. If you buy burlap covered root ball make sure there is no wax coating.  The wax coating will inhibit the roots from growing through the natural burlap.   

You can also buy a tree grown in a container or ask a friend who has maple trees if they have any seedlings growing in their yard. 
Plant a maple tree in spring as soon as the ground warms or in late summer 6 weeks before the end of season frost. Select a growing site that has full sun with well-drained slightly acidic soil.

Remove the tree from the container.  Set the tree on its side and gently roll the container.  Tap on the container to loosen the soil.   Carefully pull out the root-ball from the nursery container.  Use your hands to loosen the soil around the roots.

Transplant the tree from the container into the ground by digging a hole that is as deep and wide as the container plus 12 inches in depth and width.  The extra inches will accommodate the roots and prevent overcrowding.  Set the tree in the center of the hole.  

Gently pull the roots so they face outward, do this without causing injury to the roots.  Fill the hole with the soil and firm the soil around the trunk of the tree.  Water the tree well to remove all air pockets.  Keep the soil evenly moist throughout the growing season, or until the fist hard frost.  The best way to achieve deep watering to roots is to set up a soaking hose on a timer and water daily in the morning.

Keep the roots of the maple tree moist by applying a two foot ring of three inches of  Scotts mulch around the base of the tree.  


Consider protecting young trees maple trees with plastic protection guards.  These guards will prevent pest and animal damage as well as prevent the string from weed whackers and mowers from damaging the tree.

Buy a tree stake at to help your tree to grow straight.  

Grow maple trees in areas where there are cold winters.  

View this video for autumn maple trees in full color:  


Priscilla Benfield said...

All I can think about when I think of maple trees is the leaves to rake in the fall. Good tips though.

S Golis said...

It has been so hot here that I was raking maple leaves today! I usually let all the leaves fall then rake them, mulch them and then add to compost. I love fall and all of the activities.