silver maple seedling won't stop growing!!!

hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)August 19, 2005

I have a silver maple seedling. It sprouted this past spring from a 'key' that landed in a pot of old soil that was on my back porch from last summer (yeah, my garden needed cleaned up LOL). Anyway, the resilient little guy survived a long period with no rain so I figured it deserved a shot at life, so I began watering and feeding it and watching it take off. I realize they aren't the best yard trees, but I figured I could plant it at the back of my property (414 feet from the house) where it can't hurt much and will eventually provide a more attractive view than the industrial parking lot that backs up to my property.

Anyway, in early July I repotted and fed it and it's now 30 inches tall! Problem is, it is still soft and green and making lots more new growth! Shouldn't it be "hardening off" for winter by now? Or at least starting to? The mature silver maples here are done growing for the season by now. Once it goes dormant I plan to put it in the ground at the back of my yard but it appears it might not go dormant!

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Layne_Uyeno(So. Cal.)


In your area I'd stop feeding it any nitrogen at this point so the shoots are allowed to harden off. Too much nitrogen won't allow the tree to harden off as it will promote new growth.

Are you sure you want to plant this guy in your yard? When it matures it will send out seeds and from these seeds more seedlings...


    Bookmark   August 20, 2005 at 11:37AM
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username_5(banned for no reason)

414' from your house is good. I had one of these on a previous property and the lot was 90'x120'. What a pain. First the leave blossoms would blow off in the spring heavy enough to clog gutters (with gutter guards on), then the helicopters would do the same later, and the leaves, my goodness the leaves. They would fill my yard and my neighbor's yard multiple times. And every storm numerous branches would break off and require cleaning up.

The property had all wires (cable, phone, power) above ground and this tree grew right into them. The minimum cost to remove the thing was $2000.00 due to the complications.

Never again.

At my new place I am growing an autumn blaze maple which I believe is a cross between red maple and silver maple. It is a large tree and very hardy here, but without the messy habits of the silver. Gorgeous tree, particularly in the fall when it becomes red.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 11:19AM
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I have purchased 28 acres in Idaho and would like to plant Silver maple trees on the far corner of the lot. My parents in Washington state have a silver maple and I'm not sure how I can take the shoots from that tree and transplant them in Idaho. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 7:00PM
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Contact your state Horticultural Extension Office. They may be able to provide you with maple seedlings at little or no cost. Another alternative is to collect seeds and plant them on your property.

There are far better maple species than Silver Maples to plant in your yard. These are weak-wooded, messy trees. In fact, many cities have outlawed the planting of Silver Maples, as they are considered a "weed tree" and dangerous.

If you really want a Silver Maple, spend some money on the newer hybrid kinds, like "Autumn Fantasy". These don't have the problems with weak wood and breakage the wild Silver Maples have, and they have much prettier autumn leaves. It would be worth the investment.

See link below for a nursery that sells these trees on-line. You may also be able to find small (and inexpensive) Autumn Fantasy maples at Home Depot or Lowes.



Here is a link that might be useful: Sooner Plant Farms

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 7:54PM
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Or try any of the Acer x freemanii cultivars (red maple x silver maple). Fast growth, less splitting...

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 10:35PM
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stevation(z5a Utah)

I imagine your Idaho soil is alkaline, like ours in Utah. Silver maples are often called yellow maples here, because they suffer badly from iron chlorosis, because of the alkalinity of the soil. You really should plant a different type of maple. Norway maples are fine. Most of the red maples, including the freemanii or Autumn Blaze mentioned above, will also suffer from some chlorosis around here. I have three Autumn Blaze, and I'm regretting not choosing a better maple for my soil.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 7:11PM
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Hair, you have already witnessed how fast the little seedling can grow and that should give you some kind of warning whether you should proceed.
Four hundred feet from the house should be good enough to keep it out of your harm's way. You didn't say whether there are neighbors back of the tree out there. If so, please...have pity on them. Better to have good relationships with neighbors than to grow a tree just for its landscaping possibilities.

As pointed out, once it begins to send out seeds, you can count on having many sprouting your yard....and not just 400 feet away. Mind you, the mower will take care of many.
But silver maples are a dirty tree, always dropping twigs and branches.....and the inevitable seeds.

Heck if you have the water to feed it back 400 feet, why not think birch, very attractive in 3 or 4 clumpers; or how about weeping willow--once mature it will hide a mountain.

Do give the 'silver' careful consideration; the time to decide is before you plant it and get yourself into trouble.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 9:11PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Wow, an ancient post dragged from the crypts....

I might as well add my personal anecdote:
my sister and her boyfriend have a silver maple seedling that came up two seasons ago in their apartment complex. Like the Original Poster, they figured that it should be given a chance at life since it had managed to take hold in a concrete crack.

Fast forward to this autumn. The maple held its leaves and its apical growing tip well into the freezing period. I am impressed.

I am pleased to know that this tree might destroy the apartment complex from which it came. In my opinion, a tree is more important than an apartment complex - and, in this case, the 'tree' represents a hard lesson for the landscapers to learn. Insofar as the advent of the apartment has murdered the concept of neighborhood, I wish this tree to undermine the concept of apartment. May it break them!


    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 10:02AM
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Fledgeling_(4b SD)

Silver maple in South Dakota stands up to alkaline soils much better than any of the other maples mentioned. Acer x freemanii does not even begin to compare. For Idaho it might be a good maple in regards to performance- it is here.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 12:17AM
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