How to Plant Maple Trees


Maple trees are known for their characteristic pointy leaves. There are many varieties of maple trees and they are one of North America's most popular deciduous trees. The type of maple tree that you plant should be determined by your climate and soil. Whatever type of tree you choose, plan to obtain it in the fall. While you can plant maple trees at any time of the year, planting maple trees in the fall gives the tree's roots time to strengthen during winter dormancy. This strengthening time helps to ensure that your maple tree is strong and healthy come spring and it will enable the tree to better withstand the rigors of a hot and dry summer season.

Step 1

Choose a site where you want to plant your tree. While each type of maple tree has its own growing preferences, most species prefer soil that is well draining and growing sites that receive partial shade.

Step 2

Determine if the site you have chosen is appropriate for the type of maple tree that you are planting. You can do this be taking into account the mature height and width of the tree. If the site is inappropriate for the tree's size at maturity, choose a different planting site.

Step 3

Dig a planting hole that is twice as wide and twice as deep as the tree's root ball.

Step 4

Remove the tree from its container. If your tree is encased in genuine burlap, you do not need to remove the burlap. Simply snip away any wires or string that is holding the burlap together. If your tree is wrapped in synthetic burlap or plastic, you will need to completely remove the material.

Step 5

Place the tree into the planting hole and position it so the top of the tree's rootball is right below ground-level.

Step 6

Back-fill the hole with the original soil. Gently tamp down on the soil with your foot or with the flat end of a hoe. This will help plug any air pockets which remain around the tree's roots.

Step 7

Water the soil around the tree.

Step 8

Check the tree and the soil after the water has absorbed into the ground. If the soil has sunk below ground level, add extra soil to the planting site.

Step 9

Spread a mix of compost and mulch around the tree keeping a 3-inch area around the tree's trunk free of mulch. The mulch will help the soil remain moist and it will prevent weeds from taking over the area. The area that is free of mulch around the tree's trunk will act as a water pocket.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not apply a chemical weed killer to the area around your newly planted maple tree for one year. Remove any weeds that try to invade the area by hand.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Water
  • Mulch


  • Reader's Digest: How to Plant a Maple Tree
  • Cornell University: Caring for a Declining Maple

Who Can Help

  • Types of Maple Trees
  • Classification of Maples Around the World
Keywords: plant maple tree, planting a maple tree, maple tree planting

About this Author

Wendy Jackson is a writer/editor for print/online markets. She has been freelancing for over 15 years. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Front Porch Syndicate, as well as being picked up by health/education professionals and groups such as the American Chestnut Foundation. Jackson pursued an English major/psychology minor beginning at Pellissippi State.