Dig the hole twice as wide as the rootball and one and a half time as
deep. Backfill with soil and a handful of high-phosphorus fertilizer,
plus a handful of magnesium sulphate (epsom salts - maples love it).
Water to settle the loose soil. Set the tree so that the top of the
rootball is just about at ground level; fill will more soil and a
sprinkling of additional fertilizer/epsom salts.
Keep slightly damp for the first few months while the root system gets
If the tree's canopy is thin and you're in a climate with intense sun,
protect the trunk from sun scorch with a plastic sleeve or tree wrap;
that's especially important in the months when the leaves are off the
Anchoring trees with stakes and rope/guy wires is not recommended; if
you feel you must, make sure to remove them at the end of the first
growing season. The motion of trees rocking in the wind actually
stimulates root developing, so anchoring them puts them at a growth
"High-phosphorus fertilizer" would be either bone meal or
superphosphate. I would not sprinkle more phosphorus fertilizer on top
of the soil since it does not readily dissolve and travel through the
soil. Instead, it needs to be placed where the roots will find it. An
exception would be phosphoric acid, but I would fear that would be too
strong to apply to a newly planted tree because it might burn the
already traumatized roots.
Unless your soil drains very well, I would stir 2-3 handsful of gypsum
into the planting hole. Gypsum (calcium sulfate) chemically breaks up
heavy soils. My soils are mostly clay. With a house lot that is
slightly less than 0.25 acre -- including the footprint of my house -- I
apply over 250 pounds of gypsum to my garden every other year.
Maples require a humid climate and well-draining, acidic soil.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
The advantage of bone meal is that it takes a long time to completely
break down, so it's a long-term source of phosphorus. The disadvantage
of bone meal is that it takes a long time for that process to begin
(since it relies on decomposition and warming soil
temperatures/bacteria to perform the process), which is why applying a
chemical fertilizer at planting time - with some bone meal, if you
want to - is better. You want phosphorus to be available when the root
Correct. I place some below the root ball, and some more about
half-way up. Phosphorus travels downward through soil too slowly for
top-dressing to be effective when transplanting.
Any type of fertilizer can burn if it is over-applied, but personally
I've never had an issue with chemical fertilizers, probably because
I'm not in the habit of over-applying them.
Realistically, gypsum is only effective in breaking up sodic soils -
clay soils that are high in sodium. Thing is, not all clay soils are
sodic. Generally you see them in coastal regions, but not so much in
the center of the country. For instance, the county I reside in has
heavy clay soils that are high in calcium. Applying gypsum is a waste
of effort and money. Also, the amount one needs to apply to actually
make a difference is far more than most people usually apply.
My soils are mostly clay. With a house lot that is
IIRC, you live in a coastal area, so gypsum is beneficial for your
soil. We don't know where the OP is located.
Autumn Blaze (which is what the OP is planting) is a hybrid resulting
from a cross of red maple and silver maple. Red maples actually prefer
damp to wet soils and can even tolerate periods of standing water.
Autumn Blaze inherits that from its red maple parent. It's not too
particular about soil pH, either. It will grow rapidly and well just
about anywhere, like its silver maple parent. Unlike silver maples, it
is not a heavy producer of seeds and is less subject to wind damage.
But because of its very fast rate of growth, it is susceptible to
growth splits along its trunk. Keep the trunk protected from sun for
the first few years and the splitting should be minimal and mainly
cosmetic. As the tree ages and the bark thickens the splitting will
ease off and any existing splits will heal. It can look a bit alarming
at first, but again - it's usually cosmetic damage that ceases with time.
Six feet tall is not a tree yet, hardly a sapling, more in the
seedling range, so if you live where deer live the most important
thing is to protect it from being eaten, deer love young maple, so do
rabbits (they'll girdle its bark), even squirrels will eat the twig
ends... I'd wrap the trunk loosely, tape a tube of tarpaper an inch
larger than the trunk diameter, and fence with metal stakes and
chicken wire, leaving enough space under the wire to pass a lawnmower,
and/or weed by hand... you'll need the fence for a good 6-7 years so
don't skimp on materials. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the the
root ball and six inches deeper, then place good top soil back to
raise the root ball a good two inches higher than it was planted (it
will settle). Place good soil around the root ball but do not stomp
it in, leave it loose, allow it to settle naturally and add a bit more
soil later as needed. Water well and then once a week, do not over
water, keeping it wet will drown the tree, slightly moist is better
than wet. Mix in a little natural compost but I'd add no fertilizer,
and definitely not the first year... you want the roots to reach out
and seek their own nutrients. It'll be a good ten years before you
have the beginnings of an actual tree, and about 30-40 years before
it's a beauty, so I hope you're fairly young to have planted a
seedling. I never add fertilizer, the critters add the perfect
quantity and blend... the deer keep the lower portion perfectly
pruned. Oh, and be sure to plant your Autumn Blaze so there is
nothing above it, like utility wires, and it needs plenty of space to
achieve its full form. Autumn Blaze is a gorgeous tree, especially in
full fall foliage.
Here's mine in summer:
In full fall foliage:
Autumn Blaze grows like a freakin' rocket, averaging three feet per
year. In ten years he'll have a substantial young tree; in fifteen,
he'll have a large tree. He'd have to neglect it severely to have it
grow as slowly as you describe.
In fact, its rapid rate of growth often results in cracks and splits
in the bark on the trunk, something I noted in an earlier post.
Usually not an issue other than cosmetic, but it illustrates just how
fast these trees can grow.
You must know all those facts you cite from first hand experience...
show us your Autumn Blaze tree... must have bothered you that I have
an Autumn Blaze tree, indicated by your creative editing... mine was
planted as a six foot tall seedling fifty years ago. Plant nursery
people like to hawk every plant they're pushing as fast growing,
however truth is even the fastest growing trees grow slowly. Most
trees grow reletively quickly as seedlings and saplings, but then slow
way down, and many maples actually self prune some years more than
their growth, especially silver maple, red maple, and of course Autumn
Blaze. In fact it's a good idea to prune these trees heavily to
ensure a strong root system, a dense trunk, and to prevent severe
storm damage... these maples are not the strongest rooted trees, when
allowed to grow at their own rate they tend to blow over in a storm.
Personally I think Sugar Maple is a better choice, if one has the
space. Everything you posted anyone can find practically word for
Truth is like with any business much is hype. You could have saved
yourself from stressing your fingers typing verbosely enhanced
plagerism by simply posting that URL. Of course now Moe is going to
show us his Autumn Blaze maple tree.
I see you're getting good advice.
I suggest that in the very bottom of the hole you put a large, freshly
minted coin. It's an old English (pagan?) tradition (that is still continued
by the arbourists at Kew gardens). It serves as an offering to... nature,
call it what you will. However its secondary purpose is that some time in
the future, if and when the tree is removed whoever does so may find it and
know how long the tree has been there.
There have been tress that have fallen in the wind (or are felled) in parts
of England and sometimes intertwined in their roots coins are found that are
hundreds of years old.
"Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
'herb white[_2_ Wrote:
> ;1013289']I recently purchased an autumn blaze maple tree about 6 feet
> tall. I would like any info on how to plant it. Thanks for any reply
-Look up Stand in the spot where you want to plant the tree and look up.
Make sure nothing is in the way ? Autumn Blazes can grow to be 50 feet
-Look for shade Look for shade that still allows some sunlight. The tree
will grow better in a partially shaded area.
-Feel the soil Feel the soil. The Autumn Blaze requires moist but
well-draining soil. Even though the tree is relatively drought tolerant,
plant it in an area that you can water during a dry spell.
-Measure out 20 feet Measure 20 feet from the nearest building or other
tall tree. The Autumn Blaze has a tendency to spread up to 40 feet in
-Consider shallow roots Consider the impact of its shallow and sometimes
surface root system. Chances are this tree is a good choice for just
about anywhere you want to plant it.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.