fertilizer for October Glory Maple tree

2 years ago i planted the October Glory but it's not growing at the rate i had hpoed. i live in NJ and the soil is pretty much sandy below the first several inches. it gets good watering and had a nice size mulch area around it and i will be increasing that size this spring. what kind of fertilizer is recommended for trees. this young tree is about 12' tall, trunk is about 3" wide. the tree gets full sun from 10am til dusk and i was told this is ideal for this tree. i'd like to give it a good jump start int he spring so any help is appreciated.
mike.........
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JerseyMike said:

Could you be more specific about the "good watering"? For instance, you may think that "good watering" would be watering several times a week. If the tree's getting that much water, it doesn't have to search for it, therefore the roots don't need to grow as agressively, and in turn, the tree grows slower. Same with over-fertilizing. Something to keep in mind.

Mulching past the tree's dripline [1] is a waste of mulch (and turf area). Mulching up against the bark of the tree will bring you problems, down the road (insects, fungus, etc.).

This spring, perhaps something higher in Potassium, if you really think the tree is somehow, stunted. But from your description:

It doesn't sound like the wrong dimensions, to me, for Acer rubrum. Have you pruned it, to encourage spreading? A. rubrum spreads out quite readily, but if conditions promote vertical growth (full sun, water, shorter growing season, etc), it will grow taller and a bit thinner. You're also near the northern fringes of it's hardiness zone, which may play into things. Have you pruned it?

[1]. Likewise, not mulching all the way to the dripline is a waste of mulch *and* time.
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i
first
may
therefore
well i usually let nature take it's course but it gets water when i water the lawn daily. the tree is located in the center of the lawn so it gets overlap when the lawn is watered. in times of hot weather and little rain i fill a 5 gallon bucket that has an 1/8 hole at the base so water can trickle out slowly and do this as i think is necessary.

the tree has about 16"- 20" to all sides (circular) of the trunk of mulch and is not packed tight to the trunk. the lower branches extend about a foot past the decorative stone perimeter.

the
readily,
growing
when i planted it i took off only a few branches, i didn't want to shock it. last spring, i pruned it a bit more, but i didn't want to do too much at once and i was planning to do some more this spring.

he
mulch
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JerseyMike said:

[...]
Not over-watering. =)
[...]

Time to mulch out a bit farther.

[...]
It'll branch out. Sounds like you're doing everything correctly. Just give it time.
[...]
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JerseyMike wrote:

I think the tree needs to establish itself, give it a couple of more years and the maple will take off. Did you open up the burlap that surrounds the root ball. I found that with the trees that I've planted. I like open the burlap a bit. I don't think it rots away fast enough.
good luck
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i
first
around
fertilizer
he
i was told not to open it up, but after it was in place i cut the twine.
mike..........
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