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How to Care for Maple Trees

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How to Care for Maple Trees

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Overview

A healthy maple tree offers beautiful shade all summer and a riot of vibrant colors in the fall. But often maple trees can suddenly begin to show signs of decline. Good soil is a vitally important part of keeping a maple tree healthy. Adding mycorrhizal fungi to the soil around your maple tree will improve the absorption of nutrients, moisture and minerals. Keeping the root system performing at optimum levels will keep your maple tree healthy and vibrant for many years.

Step 1

Plant your maple tree in an area that gets full sun. Maple trees like moist soil with good drainage. Some varieties can withstand heavier soil and periods of drought, but most need consistent moisture.

Step 2

Drill three to six holes around the root system of your maple tree using a soil auger. The holes should be 1 to 4 feet deep depending on the size of your tree. Small, newly planted saplings need shallower holes while fully mature trees need deeper holes.

Step 3

Pour mycorrhizal fungi into each hole. Check the instructions of the package for guidelines on how much to use based on the size of your tree.

Step 4

Water the area so that the soil is damp all around the tree to a depth of 1 to 3 feet depending on the depth of your fungi application.

Step 5

Construct a trellis around young saplings to protect them from high winds and passing animals. Saplings are vulnerable until they get established.

Step 6

Prune in the winter when the tree is dormant. Take off dead or dying limbs and remove limbs that are touching or crossing. Use sharp pruning shears for the smaller branches and a tree saw for the larger, tougher limbs.

Things You'll Need

  • Mycorrhizal fungi
  • Soil auger
  • Water
  • Pruning shears
  • Tree saw

References

  • University of Rhode Island Landscape and Horticulture Program : Maple Tree Decline
  • University of Minnesota:Forest Fungi...one of the best kept secrets?
  • Journal of Arboriculture:Mycorrhizal Fungal Inoculation of Established Street Trees
Keywords: tree health, symbiotic relationships, keeping maple trees healthy

About this Author

Olivia Parker has been a freelance writer with Demand Studios for the past year, writing for Garden Guides and eHow. She has studied herbal and alternative medicine and worked as a landscape artist and gardener. Parker is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Arts from Boston University Online.

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