How well will sugar or red maple trees do in Casper?
I am wanting to plant new trees in my yard in Casper. I live on Country Club Road just down the street from Hilltop National Bank. I am going to plant two honeylocusts. However, I have always loved maple trees and would love it if I could grow a sugar maple or a red maple in my yard. What would I need to do to grow a sugar maple or red maple tree in my yard? What is the likelihood of success? If pressed, I would prefer a red maple over a sugar maple only because I have read that red maples grow faster. Bill Cubin Casper, WY
Before you go too far the best thing you can do is to have a soil test done. That will tell you, and me in the local Extension office what texture your soil is, what nutrients are available and which are lacking, what pH your soil is as well as a few potential toxins for specific tree species.
From your location I suspect you have clay soils but it is not unusual for neighboring lots to have differences in soil texture due to soil brought in after home construction in some locations.
Red Maples will do well here, I would suggest you shop for a your Maple and purchase it from a supplier that grows in Northern latitudes so that it is acclimated to our short growing season and colder temperatures.
After having a soil test we an also determine whether soil amendments are needed in your location. In most cases our soils are lacking in organic matter and it does need to be applied but it needs to be applied to the entire yard and growing area for the trees mature root system not just in the planting hole for the establishment period. If the entire site cannot be amended, then it is best to plant a tree suited to the conditions in the yard rather than struggling to get a tree to survive in adverse conditions. But, don't amend the planting hole as that will be detrimental to the long term health and vitality of a tree.
Our State Community Forestry Division of Wyoming State Forestry puts out two great publicaitons for tree owners. The first is a Tree Owner's Guide (the link is currently not working) and the other is a Brochure on Trees for Wyoming: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4cO-WULhPyJTXhwWVNOUXpOV2s/edit. The City of Cheyenne Community Forestry Division has also developed a great brochure with details on tree planting and life long care it is available online as well, it is called Basic Tree Care for Wyoming: http://cheyennetrees.com/pdfs/Brochure%20PDF%20600.pdf .
Hope this helps and if you need more information please don't hesitate to contact our office at 235-9400 ext. 31 for more in-depth information.