Maple Trees (Acer species)

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Maple trees are one of the most popular deciduous landscape trees in the world. They are adaptable to a wide range of soil and climate conditions and require little maintenance once established. Maples are available in an astounding array of leaf shapes and foliage colors. Most produce charming winged seeds in the spring and turn beautiful shades of gold, orange, red or purple in the fall. Mature trees provide cooling shade and create a source of shelter, nesting sites and nourishment for birds and other wildlife.


A classic favorite for landscape focal points. Provides instant form and structure to the landscape. Usually used for large scale plantings, but some smaller species can be grown in large patio planters.

Plant Feed

Slow release feed in spring.


Water regularly the first three years after planting. Check the soil moisture daily for fast draining soils; weekly for slower drainage. Water when the soil is dry six inches below the surface.


Organic-rich, well-drained soil.

Basic Care Summary

Water consistently until well-established. Feed a balanced fertilizer formulated for trees and shrubs in the spring, applying according to product directions. Prune as needed to remove dead branches and maintain desired shape.

Planting Instructions

Plant in spring or early fall to give plants the best start.

Choose a location that will allow roots to spread and branches to grow freely. Space plants far enough from building foundations, walls, and decks so that the growing foliage won’t crowd the structure. Consider whether tall trees or shrubs will block windows or interfere with the roof or power lines.

To prepare the planting area dig a hole as deep as the root ball and three times as wide. After removing the soil, mix it with some compost or peat moss. This enriches the soil and loosens the existing dirt so that new roots can spread easily.

To remove the plant from the container, gently brace the base of the plant, tip it sideways and tap the outside of the pot to loosen. Rotate the container and continue to tap, loosening the soil until the plant pulls smoothly from the pot. The container can also be removed by carefully cutting it down the side.

Set the plant in the hole. If the root ball is wrapped in burlap fabric this must now be removed along with any string or wire securing the burlap. If roots are tightly packed gently rake them apart with your fingers.

Return the soil to the planting area packing it firmly around the root ball. Fill the hole until the soil line is just at the base of the plant, where the roots begin to flare out from the main stem.

Water the plant well then add a 2” (5cm) layer of mulch, such as shredded bark, around the planting area. Keep the mulch at least 4” (10cm) away from the trunk of the plant as this can keep the bark too moist and cause it to decay.

Watering Instructions

Depending on rainfall, new plants need to be watered weekly through the first growing season. A slow, one-hour trickle of water should do the job. During hot spells thoroughly soaking the ground up to 8” (20 cm) every few days is better than watering a little bit daily. Deep watering encourages roots to grow further into the ground resulting in a sturdier plant with more drought tolerance.

To check for soil moisture use your finger or a hand trowel to dig a small hole and examine the soil. If the first 2-4” (5-10cm) of soil is dry, it is time to water.

Monitor new plants through the first two years to make sure they are getting the moisture they need. After that they should be sturdy enough to survive on their own.

Pruning Instructions

Pruning may be needed to remove dead branches, encourage bushier growth, promote more flowers, or maintain a specific size or shape.

Fertilizing Instuctions

Established trees should be fertilized every 2-3 years. Feed in early spring when plants start growing.

Fertilizers are available in many forms: granulated, slow-release, liquid feeds, organic or synthetic. Determine which application method is best for the situation and select a product designed for trees and shrubs, or go with a nutritionally balanced, general-purpose formula such as 10-10-10.

Always follow the fertilizer package directions for application rates and scheduling. Over-fertilizing plants or applying at the wrong time during the growing season can result in plant injury.

Plant Details

Category Nursery
Height Range 4-80′
Height Metric Range 1.2-24.4m
Space Range 10-35′
Space Metric Range 3-10.7m
Available Colors Grown for foliage
Companion Plants Groundcover, Shrubs, Shade perennials
Lowest Temperature -30° to -20°F
Lowest Temperature Metric -34° to -29°C
Bloom Time Grown for foliage
Plant Light Full Sun
Hardiness Zone 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9