Maple Tree Care
Maple tree’s leaves are the easiest way to identify the tree as they have a distinctive 3 point or 5 point structure, like the maple leaf feature don the Canadian flag. Sugar maples will have rougher lobes while silver are smoother and larger. You can identify the age of the tree by wrapping a tape measure around it and dividing that number (the circumference) by 3.14. Then multiply that number by 3. A different way to see how old your maple tree is would be to find out the age of the housing development you live in as mature maples were likely planted at or near the time the development was built.
We find that weakened maples can be over-run by aphids, a leaf sucking insect, during the late spring and summer months. On the “soft” maples, cottony maple scale is usually present if there is a lot of honeydew, which can be mistaken for sap. When the scale females are laying the eggs, the maple twigs will have what looks like little marshmallows.
If the maple’s leaves are yellowing, soil compaction or a lack of soluble nutrients, can create a condition called chlorosis. We treat this with a chelated fertilizer, applied by injection which makes soil nutrients more available to the maple’s roots. A bark fertilizer called Envirotree, applied during the summer, can also help an under-nourished maple tree.
A young Maple, three years old or less , will be susceptible to sun-scald in the winter. We recommend wrapping it with a commercial tree wrap. Not every arborist agrees that this works but we’ve observed excellent results in our experience. Maple roots, especially silver maples, commonly run across the ground surface in dry climates making lawn mowing annoying. Deep root watering during drought could prevent the roots from spidering over the soil in a desperate search for water. This is done by injecting water deeper into the soil to in a sense train the roots to go deeper.
Maple Tree Trimming
The single worst time to trim a maple-UNLESS you ‘re in the maple syrup business, is right before winter. Trimming it right before it goes dormant for the winter causes excessive build up of sap which rains down are cars, houses and sidewalks in copious amounts the very next spring.
Maple tree trimming is crucial to remove dead or diseased wood from the tree. If you trim in late winter the sap will bleed. It’s important to make the correct pruning cuts and not leave stubs when trimming. That is doubly true on a young maple. If not properly pruned, the tree will be more apt to decay. The shape of a mature maple is very hard to change if it hasn’t been trimmed early in its life.
If the maple tree is drought stressed and struggling, it is recommended that it be pruned lightly and watering in the winter.
Learn more about our tree trimming service.
Maple Tree Removal
Maple tree removal can be expensive since there are so many branches and the trees become quite large. Wide branching takes more time to safely piece out and transport to ground-level.
Also the wood is very heavy. Trust me, my back agrees! A maple in decline may show signs of dying off from the top, down. If the tree was not planted properly or the drainage is poor, root starvation occurs. Maple trees, specifically silver maples, are one of the most common hazard trees. Maples, again especially silver maple, are prone to hollowing, which can create a hazard tree situation.