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How to Grow Maple Trees

By Lucinda Gunnin ; Updated September 21, 2017

Primarily found in the northeastern United States, the maple tree is a fairly prolific specimen of hardwood tree that can brighten up and enliven just about any landscape. While growing maples is generally a fairly easy procedure, there are a few important things to remember and steps to follow to ensure that your maple tree is performing to the best of its capacity right from the start.

Check to make sure you are in the proper climate for maple trees. As a general rule, maple trees perform best in colder climates, hitting their optimal germination potential at 34 degrees Fahrenheit. So if you live in a climate where the weather never gets that cold, maple is probably not the best species of tree for you.

Pick out a maple sapling from a local nursery. Starting with an already slightly established maple tree sapling will not only allow you to pick your desired placement within the yard, but it will also greatly enhance the survival rate of the tree. If there is going to be any delay from the time of purchase to the time of planting, be sure to keep the maple tree well watered in the interim.

Select the site for your new maple sapling. Maple trees actually prefer partial shading to sights that offer direct sunlight. You'll also want a slightly moist area of soil that has a neutral pH balance in order to achieve the best growth.

Dig a hole in which to place the roots and base of your sapling. This hole should have a diameter roughly equal to four times the size of the root ball at the base of the tree, and should be that deep as well. This will ensure that the maple sapling has plenty of broken up, loose soil to grow and expand into.

Place the maple sapling into the hole. You will want the top of the root-ball to rest just below the rim of the hole. Once the broken up soil is back in the hole and the maple sapling is stable, water thoroughly and lightly pack down the soil.

Spread mulch around the base of the tree in roughly a 2- to 3-foot diameter. The mulch will help to discourage weed growth and will help the maple sapling to retain more moisture.


Things You Will Need

  • Maple tree sapling
  • Shovel
  • Water
  • Mulch

About the Author


Lucinda Gunnin began writing in 1988 for the “Milford Times." Her work has appeared in “Illinois Issues” and dozens more newspapers, magazines and online outlets. Gunnin holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and political science from Adams State College and a Master of Arts in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield.