Since you spent all that time picking out and planting your tree, you owe it to yourself to keep it growing beautifully for years.
- Step 1: Give your tree about an inch of water per week. Maintain a 3-inch layer of mulch above the soil to aid in keeping the soil moist. Mix compost into the soil to help with drainage.
- Step 2: Protect the trunk of the tree -- the thick bark is easily damaged. Don't get too close with the weed whip or lawn mower while maintaining the surrounding area.
- FACT: The Autumn Blaze Maple tree was developed by Poplar Farms, Inc., and registered in 1982 under the plant patenting system in the U.S.
- Step 3: Fertilize the tree when planting and during the first year of growth with fertilizer that contains phosphorus and nitrogen. After the first year, test the soil to determine which nutrients are lacking and buy fertilizer accordingly. Avoid fertilizing late in the growing season.
- TIP: Verticillium wilt can be slowed down with proper fertilization.
- Step 4: Loosen compacted soil. Soil compaction can cause the tree to loose its leaves and branches. Aerate around the tree as often as necessary -- typically once every two years.
- TIP: Clay soil can compact naturally, without heavy objects pressing on the base of the tree and surrounding area.
- Step 5: Watch for wilted branches and a thin crown. This may be a sign of verticillium wilt or root rot. Both are caused by a fungus in the soil and are incurable.
- Step 6: Look for root girdling. Loosen the mulch and soil and cut away any roots that are wrapping around a young tree. Use loppers to cut the troublesome roots as close to the base of the tree as possible.