How to Grow Red Maples


The red maple tree produces tiny red flowers in spring with a brilliant red fall color. This variety is one of the first tree types to undergo leaf color change in the fall. Red maple trees have a weak wood structure and can fall victim to storm damage if not protected. The trees are commonly used for creating shade and work well as a street edge tree.

Step 1

Select a location for the red maple tree that is in partial shade. The soil should neutral to acidic in pH and well-draining.

Step 2

Dig a hole four times the width of the root ball and the same depth. Water the root ball well and gently loosen the roots. Place the tree into the hole, making sure the top is even with the ground. Spread the roots in the hole and cover. Gently pack dirt in place to prevent air pockets. Fill the hole with water after packing half of the hole with dirt. Wait for the water to absorb and finish packing the hole.

Step 3

Water newly planted red maple trees weekly with 1 to 1½ inches of water for the first year of growth. Water mature red maple trees during the hot summer months when rainfall is low. Red maple trees tolerate moisture well and require water when the leaves begin to droop.

Step 4

Fertilize the tree during the first year of growth with a slow-release fertilizer tablet. Fertilize mature trees with a 10-10-10 fertilizer in spring and once a month during the summer months.

Step 5

Protect young trees from deer by fencing or applying deer repellent to the area.

Step 6

Remove weeds and lawn in a 2 to 3 foot diameter around the trees for the first year of growth to prevent moisture loss to weeds. Apply a light layer of mulch to assist with weed prevention.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not apply weed prevention chemicals or allow chemicals to blow on red maple trees.

Things You'll Need

  • Red maple tree
  • Shovel
  • Water
  • Slow-release fertilizer tablets
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Fencing
  • Deer repellent
  • Mulch


  • Maple Trees
  • Red Maple Trees Instructions
Keywords: planting red maple tree, fall color trees, growing red maple

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.