Maple trees add significant beauty and shade to outdoor living environments. In fall, they provide spectacular bursts of vibrant color, and their lush green leaves are welcome additions to any yard during the spring and summer months. Even in winter, their interesting branch structure provides aesthetic appeal. However, even though these beauties are relatively low maintenance as far as landscaping trees are concerned, they do require a certain amount of care in order to perform their best. Following are three ways to keep your maple tree looking sharp all year round.
Fertilize Once a Year
Maple trees should be fertilized once per year during the early spring before foliar growth begins. The exact time to fertilize will depend on climate conditions of your geographical location -- maple trees should be fertilized after the ground thaws out and can be easily worked. Be sure to purchase a fertilizer specifically formulated for use on maple trees and apply according to package directions. Your local landscaping professional can help you if you have questions.
Practice Proper Pruning
Maple trees should be pruned during the late spring or early summer. Use sharp pruning shears and remove small twigs that are beginning to grow from the main trunk of the tree. Properly pruning maple trees can be tricky because it may cause sap to run down the tree, creating an unsightly appearance. This is more likely to occur in the fall and winter months. There is no need to panic, however, if pruning your tree in spring or summer causes sap to run -- the tree will heal on its own if you leave it alone.
Practice Vigilance Against Pathogens
Although a healthy, well-established maple tree should be able to resist damage from the majority of the tree's usual pathogens, it's important to know the signs of potential disease so that you can take necessary action to nip problems in the bud. Many pathogens, such as anthracnose, can be minimized or prevented by good housekeeping practices in your yard. Keeping leaves and other vegetative debris raked and keeping lawns mowed and free of weeds and fungal organisms will go a long way toward keeping pathogens from affecting your trees. Keep an eye on your maple tree and contact a professional if you begin to notice significant signs of decline.
With proper care and attention, your maple tree will grow to a ripe old age, providing you and your family with decades of gorgeous fall foliage color and cooling summer shade. Click here for more info.