Maple Trees are one of the most commonly identifiable trees in America. With their large broad spreading leaves and magnificent choice of foliage fall colors. Maples are popular choices when seeking a tree which will provide all year round splendor, and classic informal design. Due to their vigorous rates of growth. Maples are often the decided choice where privacy or shade is an admirable quality in a tree. It is also common to see varying types of Maples planted together. This is because most types of Maple grow in a similar shape and style, and the colors compliment one another and can be grown into an attractive fall display with colors ranging from deep reds to vibrant orange.
Seasonal information: The ideal planting time for a maple is early to mid-spring. Because transferred maple trees can be slow to put out roots, planting in spring allows plenty of time for growth before the ground freezes. With proper time and care, though, maples planted in the summer or fall can be just as flourishing as those planted in spring. Just be sure to plant your tree at least six weeks before your first frost. This will give your new tree an opportunity to adjust to its new environment.
Location: If your area is experiencing extreme heat, place your potted tree in a well-shaded area, such as a garage, or plant it in a well-shaded area of your lawn. Once mature, your tree will be better able to manage with temperatures of this kind. Typically, though, trees do not experience much growth during times of extreme temperature. Select a planting site that provides your maple with partial shade. Ensure that the location of your choice is comprised of the proper soil for your tree.
Planting instructions: Dig a planting hole for your maple that is four times the width of your tree’s root ball and equal depth. Remove your maple from its container and ensure root moisture. Place your tree in the planting hole, keeping the top of the root ball even with the ground. Spread the roots out evenly and surround them with dirt to avoid air pockets, which can dry out the roots of your tree. Fill a small amount of the soil into the hole to maintain the tree’s upright position, and water thoroughly. Once the water has absorbed into the root ball and surrounding soil, fill the remaining soil into the planting hole. Pack firmly and water a second time.
Watering: During its formative years, your maple will require weekly watering of at least 1½ inches of water. Even as it matures, your tree will still need plenty of water during the summer months. Be sure, though, to water correctly. Light green leaves are a sign of over-watering, while drooping leaves signify both over-watering and under-watering.
Fertilization: During the first growing season, use only slow-release fertilizer tablets on your new maple. Refrain from using stronger fertilization methods until your tree becomes more established. Any 10-10-10 fertilizer, such as Miracle Grow, will be suitable. Fertilize your Maple twice a month when it is coming out of dormancy, and once a month during the summer. Discontinue before the tree returns to its dormant state.
Weed Control: Do not permit weeds and lawn any closer than 2-3 feet from your maple in the first year. Pull the weeds initially, and then utilize a growing mat or mulch. Insulate the roots 2-4 inches and replenish as needed. Do not spray pesticides on a young maple, and ensure that wind does not blow chemical drift onto your tree.
Pests and Disease: The leaves are used as a food plant for the larvae of a number of Lepidoptera species. Aphids are also very common sap-feeders on maples. In horticultural applications, a dimethoate spray will solve this. In the United States and Canada, all maple species are threatened by the Asian Longhorned Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis).
Pruning: Since Maple trees bleed sap when their branches are cut, the best time to prune is when the leaves have fully matured. At this time, there will be less sap. Remove all dead or dying branches. Do this before you start cutting live branches; it will give you a better idea of what your tree looks like and how many of the live branches you’re going to need to cut. Decide which branches you’re going to cut before you start cutting. Look for large branches growing at narrow angles to the main trunk, branches that are rubbing others or branches that are growing inwards and crossing others. Remove the larger branches. To do this, make the first cut all the way through the branch, at least a foot from the main tree trunk. Use two cuts; the first should begin underneath the branch and go upwards, with the second starting on the top and going down to meet the first. With the weight gone, you can finish cutting the remainder of the branch without struggling with the extra length of the branch.
Pollination: The distinctive fruit are called samaras or “maple keys”. These seeds, or “whirlybirds,” occur in distinctive pairs each containing one seed enclosed in a “nutlet” attached to a flattened wing of fibrous, papery tissue. They are shaped to spin as they fall and to carry the seeds a considerable distance on the wind. Children often call them “helicopters” due to the way that they spin as they fall. Seed maturation is usually in a few weeks to six months after flowering, with seed dispersal shortly after maturity.