Caring for a Red Maple

Asked October 17, 2015, 8:31 PM EDT

What do you use to feed a Red Maple? I have just being using those fertilizer sticks in spring. It's not that big either after being a small 5 or 6 feet 5 years ago to 10-15 feet tall and wide now.

Douglas County Oregon

1 Response

If in fact you have a red maple, it should be much larger by now. They tend to grow rapidly to 60 feet tall and 40 feet wide. Most maples do well if the soil is generally fertile. J.D. Vertrees in his classic book Japanese Maples points out that in this area "a balanced "garden" fertilizer, such as that recommended for roses, applied lightly but not more than once a year will provide for these non-greedy plants." Without knowing specific nutrient make-up of your soil it is impossible to recommend specific additives. For more information on soil testing and how to insure your soil is generally fertile you can call the Douglas County Master Gardener Plant Clinic at 541-672-4461.

Since larger maples have a very fibrous and extensive root system water is often the key to tree health and growth. They require a steady supply of water especially in the high heat environment that we have had for the past several years. This may or may not mean that you need to water every day. It does mean that you need to keep the soil and roots from drying out. Water as the soil needs it with occasional deep watering to flush the salts out of the soil and keep the roots deep.