How do I Plant a Maple Tree?

Katie Gatto
Katie Gatto
Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

Planting a maple tree can be more complex then plating other types of trees, but it can provide you with years of joy and shade. As with any other tree, a maple can help the planet and enrich the local ecosystem. You'll need to decide if you want to start with a seed or a sapling, find a good location, dig a hole of the proper size, and mulch the soil. It's also best to plant maples at certain times of year.

Start by choosing between a seed and a sapling. Maple tree seeds can be bought online or picked up off the ground. A healthy one should be between 2.5 and 4 inches (6.35 and 10.16 cm) in diameter, with both wings intact. The seeds should not rattle in their pods. Saplings can be purchased at any garden center, and healthy ones should have a green stalk.

A maple tree should be planted in a location with good soil drainage, direct sunlight, and enough room for the tree to grow. Consider the size of the hole needed for the tree. If the hole is too deep, the plant will not grow; if it's too shallow, the plant will be exposed to animals. For a seed, the hole should be twice as deep as the seed is wide. For a sapling, the whole of the root bulb must be covered by at least 1 inch (2.54 cm) of soil.

It is best to plant the tree in the fall, when the seeds drop naturally, since that's when the seed will be ready to sprout. If the plant or seed is being planted at this time, then the soil should be covered in 1 inch (2.54 cm) of mulch. Mulch is the covering of choice because it traps more air and will retain more ground heat then soil. It is also preferable to fertilizer because fertilizer can cause a chemical burn that is harmful to plants. Water the tree as needed, when the soil is dry 1 inch (2.54 cm) below the surface.

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Discussion Comments


@yntern, I love trees, and one of the things I want to do when I get my own house (I live in an apartment now) is to try growing my own trees- oaks from acorns, and maples from maple seeds. I especially like maples because they have so many uses and symbols, including sugar and syrup. No wonder the maple tree leaf is a symbol of Canada.


I once grew a maple tree from a seed I found on the ground. I just planted it in a pot to see if it would grow, and it sprouted beautifully. I went away to college, and when I came home, I found that my mother had planted the tree in the front yard! I think it's the biggest tree in their yard now, and it has grown beautifully.

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