Maple Leaves Forever is pleased to provide this month-by-month outline of maple maintenance and planting for your reference! Please contact us if you have any questions.
We have linked text to more information on our site where available.
Love your maples! Care for them properly, and they will give you decades of wonderful fall colours, shade and much more.
- pick up trees at nursery or take delivery of trees from nursery
- take care to properly transport and deliver your native maples prior to planting
- new planting – plant when soil conditions are favourable
- water deeply and thoroughly; add mulch
- stake newly planted trees, if necessary
- prepare a plan for watering the trees through the growing season
- established plantings – add or replace mulch and clear surrounding weeds
- remove stakes from trees that have been staked for two or more years.
- new plantings – stake, water thoroughly, add mulch & clear surrounding weeds
- water as needed, frequency & duration will increase in dry conditions
- fertilize established but not newly planted trees
- monitor for presence of insects or other pests
Late May or when leaves have fully formed
- monitor the development of new growth & if necessary re-establish terminal leader
- remove (prune) any basal sprouts that may be present – prune to soil line
- check for seeds on mature red, red/silver hybrid and silver maples if interested in harvesting or know of others interested in collecting these varieties of maple seed
(Seed matures in late May/early June)
- new planting (container grown and B&B) – water slowly & deeply to get water down to the roots, clear surrounding weeds, add mulch & stake (if necessary)
- water newly planted & established maples as needed, frequency will increase during hot, dry conditions
- consider using tree watering bags to reduce risk of water stress
- fertilize established trees as recommended, but not newly planted trees
- monitor for presence of insects or other pests
- check for seed development on mature sugar maple trees if interested in harvesting or know of others interested in collecting sugar maple seed (seed matures in mid/late September)
July – August
- water as needed, keep trees well-watered during times of heat & drought, especially newly planted trees. Water weekly, supplement when no natural rainfall occurs.
- add or restore mulch as needed & clear surrounding weeds
- the recommended time for pruning young maples is mid-July through early August
- fertilize established trees as recommended but not newly planted trees
- seek assistance if trees appear to be stressed
- monitor regularly for presence of insects or other pests
- if you are considering planting trees in the fall, visit our Rebate page. You may be eligible for a Thank You Rebate for planting native maples on your rural property
- water trees slowly and deeply to help trees store nutrients & prepare for winter
- inspect tree form, prune only lightly, as needed
late September/early October
- continue to water trees as needed during dry weather conditions
- fall is the second best time to plant trees; plant early enough that trees can establish before winter sets in
- water newly planted trees slowly & deeply, before adding mulch & staking (if necessary)
- apply for your Thank You Rebate after receiving approval of your application form & purchasing your native maples
- collect mature seed from sugar maple trees, if present & plans include its collection
- monitor for the presence of voles, rabbits & deer
- enjoy the fall colours!
Late October/ November
- Rake & dispose of fallen leaves if foliar disease was a problem during the growing season. This reduces the potential for re-infestation next year.
- Prune to remove dead, cracked or broken branches. Minor pruning that was overlooked during the summer pruning can be corrected at this time. Late October through early November is the recommended timing, as the pruning wounds need time to heal before the cold winter conditions set in.
- replenish the mulch ring around the base of the trees
- inspect trees for presence of insect-damage, disease or vandalism
- after leaves fall is a good time to inspect for LDD Moth (also known as Gypsy Moth) egg masses, scrape them from your trees and soak them in soapy water for 48 hours, to reduce chances of infestation next year – this can be done any time from August through the fall and winter to mid-April
- initiate plans for spring planting if considering planting native maples next year
- contact nurseries to confirm availability of native maples for spring planting
- begin monitoring for animal damage when alternate food sources become scarce
- install rodent & deer protection as needed
- wrap the trunk of trees to prevent frost cracks, if recommended for your geographic area
Late November – December
- monitor for tree damage or stress (snow load, ice damage, vandalism and rodent or deer browsing).
- prune only to remove dead, cracked or broken branches.
- monitor for tree damage or stress
- prepare planting plans for upcoming year
- place order for Native Maples from nursery (You may be disappointed if you delay doing this now)
- continue to monitor for tree damage or stress
Native Maples should not be pruned during the late winter through spring season. Bleeding (loss of sap from pruning wounds) can be excessive when maple trees are pruned during this time. Wait until the leaves have fully formed in mid-summer. Light pruning can also be done in fall.