Return to the Maples Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

Posted by susanblooms1 5, Milwaukee, WI (My Page) on
Wed, May 26, 10 at 13:07

We planted our first tree, an Autumn Blaze Maple, approx 18' tall with a 4" diameter trunk.

I thought when we bought such a big tree for planting, our chances of it surviving would be better because of it's size, but everything I'm reading on the web is making me paranoid that I should have planted a smaller tree.

This tree was expensive and its so beautiful I want to do everything I can to help it acclimate. It is in the full sun, in very sandy soil. The grower said to water 20 gallons, 3 times weekly. The tree was planted at the appropriate depth (we paid to have it planted because it was too big for us to handle) and is mulched well. It is also staked.

The grower also used Fertilome root stimulator when he watered right after planting and told us not to do any fertilizing for 3 years.

Is there anything else I need to do, not do, to help this tree acclimate and grow well?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

Skip the fertilizer/stimulator. Remove the stakes. Water only when needed. It's hard to overwater a silver maple but if you do they get real bad surface roots. Stick your fingers in the soil and check for moistness. That water estimate sounds about right if no rain.Make sure mulch is not touching the trunk.


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

susan, That fella had to weigh a ton!

how big was the rootball? Was it wrapped in that protective burlap and did they cut most of that away after they put the tree in place?

I think one of the biggest challenges will be getting the water into the rootball to keep the tree alive at first, then encouraging the tree to grow roots out of the rootball. With my little transplants sometimes I water around them to encourage roots to grow out of their cozy hole.

Musical, are you saying remove any fertilizer spikes or any stakes for holding the tree in place? I'm concerned about how much leverage wind pressure 15 foot up will be able to place on the rootball with this big a transplant.


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

The root ball was probably 3' wide by at least 2' deep. The tree had been spaded in March and we didn't purchase and plant until 2 weeks ago and it looked healthy had budded and leafed out fine.

It was in a natural burlap ball and a wire cage. My biggest concern is that they didn't remove the burlap or wire. They did roll back the burlap from the top of the ball but said it would break down and the tree would send root through it until then.

It WAS HEAVY! We could never have picked it up and brought it home, or planted it ourselves. Two guys, a dump truck and a cat(?)(forgive my ignorance) machine with a digger delivered it. They used the digger to lower it from the truck and drive it to the hole. They busted a gut doing it but they were very careful with the tree and seemed to know what they were dcing.

We won't put any further fertilizer on it, but the fertilome root stimulator they poured on it...what's done is done. I, too, am concerned about removing the 2 stakes that will help support the tree in a high wind.

It's been at least 2 weeks now and it looks happy but I sure wish that wire cage had been removed, although I don't know how they would have handled the tree without it.

We have placed a 10' soaker hose around/over the root ball and a timer for 20 minutes delivers 20 gallons over the rootball.


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

Stakes.. It seems like wood stakes are done be default by landscapers who never revisit the property to remove the stakes or straps. Unless it's super windy, let the tree get its sea legs on.
Usually they are totally unnecessary.

Burlap and wire baskets do not break down as fast as people think. I recently dug up a tree that 5 years after it was planted and what remained of the wire and burlap- a portion of the bottom was left on at planting, was astonishing. I took a picture of it for an occasion such as this. I'll see if I can find it. Hopefully they removed as much of the burlap as they could. It's definitely best to cut away the basket and burlap.


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Agutumn Blaze - tips please

wire basket & burlap after 5 years in the ground.
Only a small portion was left on at planting. Still very much intact.

click on thumnails to enlarge and zoom in.

Spread the word... remove basket and burlap!


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

  • Posted by whaas 5a Milwaukee (My Page) on
    Sun, May 30, 10 at 0:19

Autumn Blaze grows like a weed tree around here....give it a good soaking if mother nature doesn't provide an 1" of water, as a general rule of thumb.

After a year you'll be shocked at the roots that it puts out.

Where in Milwaukee do you have sandy soil?

And don't worry about the wire basket and burlap. Most of the nurseries in SE WI use a biodegradable burlap that degrades in the first season. The wire basket will not phase this maple it is going to root where it wants.


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

Whaas,
Thanks for your positive thoughts! You sound like you "know" our area and this specific tree. It makes me feel better to hear that you don't think the burlap and wire will be an issue.

You are right about the sandy soil. We actually purchased and planted the tree at our Wautoma, Wisconsin cottage. The soils is VERY sandy there.

Here is a photo of the tree right after they planted it.

If you have any further thoughts or tips, let me know. I'm glad for everyones ideas and comments and appreciate your help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Autumn Blaze Maple planted 5-14-2010


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

Whaas writes:
"this maple it is going to root where it wants."

What if the maple doesn't want to root outside of its cozy little burlap-lined basket because it just so nice in there? Girdling happens due to things like this.

Whaas also writes:
"After a year you'll be shocked at the roots that it puts out. "

And what happens when a 3" root wants to grow through a 2" hole in a wire basket?

There is reason to be concerned and not to take the attitude that its no big deal to leave it on.

I checked the most recent picture. If planted just recently, unless you just laid a bunch of new sod, it looks like the planting hole was only big enough for the soil ball. Should be 2-3 times the width. I'd be more concerned about that in clay soils but it's clear the installer took shortcuts. Either that or they didn't know what they were doing.


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 2, 10 at 12:41

Girdling happens because roots can't get out, not because they like where they are. Roots always grow away from the center of the plant whenever they can.


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

The wire basket isn't a death sentence. It just lowers the CHANCE the tree has of living. Has to.

Only lazy companies leave the wire in place. The same thought Toyota had in ignoring their acceleration problems. Would cost more to fix than to defend. In the landscapers world getting off in time for lunch was worth more than the time spent cutting the wire free, or the cost of the additional dead trees on their reputation was less than the cost of employee's time removing the wire.

Maybe by 1 out of 20, maybe more. Who knows. Smoking doesn't mean you die at 50. Just increases the chance.

Point is you'll have a few years time and the money involved in the tree. They should plant it right.


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

Given the size of the root ball, the size of the tree and the fact that it's in sand, a stake may not have been a bad idea. And I stake virtually nothing. Keep an eye on it. I am of the "remove everything you can" camp but as toronado says, it's not a death sentence, just lowers the chances a bit. The only other suggestion is make sure the mulch is a few inches away from the trunk.

tj


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

  • Posted by whaas 5a Milwaukee (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 3, 10 at 21:01

The wire baskets on trees of this size usually have 6" x 4" holes in the first 12"...not sure where the 2" hole comes into play.

I have two freeman maples that I planted, left the cages on...roots are growing well beyond the dripline after three years. I have zero concern on these trees.

tsuga, I agree...I try to remove what I can but sometimes its impossible to completely remove a wire cage on a root ball of that size.

Just throwing it out there but did you know that Johnsons Nursery keeps/kept the wire backets and burlap on the trees in the display garden? Did you also know that many of those trees are well over 20 years?

In the end, we are talking about a freeman maple (and assuming a clay rootball), those roots are going to rip the cage apart!lol!

I'm definitely not promoting the fact you should leave burlap and the cage on but in this situation the OP will be ok...yeah there could be a "chance" a root will get caught up but that likely won't impact the trees ability to survive.


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

Look at the bright side... the baskets will make it easier to remove the trees when they die. ;-)

I think that's the standard reply you get from the landscapers when you ask why they left the baskets on.


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 5, 10 at 22:30

The problems with wire come later, when it starts to cut into larger roots.


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

The worry over burlap and wire cage is needless. The burlap itself poses no threat to root growth. The villain is usually compacted soil. The wire cage initially serves as a stabilizer for the roots and gradually leaks iron into the soil, a good thing since maples sometimes suffer from a lack of accessible iron.


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

The worry over burlap and wire cage is needless. The burlap itself poses no threat to root growth. The villain is usually compacted soil. The wire cage initially serves as a stabilizer for the roots and gradually leaks iron into the soil, a good thing since maples sometimes suffer from a lack of accessible iron.

I'm not sure "needless" is exactly the term I'd use :-) There have been numerous studies that show how NOT removing rootball wrappings before planting can inhibit the establishment of trees and how many trees planted with wrappings remaining intact fail within the first few years in the ground. Considering the investment with many larger trees, those that are often sold B&B and with wire cages, it is a risk many choose to not to take. In fact, most extension services, the USDA, the Forest Service and the ISA all recommend removing ALL wrappings from at least the the top half of the root ball after placement in the planting hole. Some even go so far as to recommend washing the roots or removing the heavy clay soil most B&B stock are grown in. It is there only as a convenience to the growers, not because it has any magical properties for protecting roots or enhancing root development.

And FWIW, there's a lot of burlap-looking products on the market that are not natural, untreated burlap and they are frequently used simply because they do NOT degrade rapidly once in the soil. Some are even plastic products that are visually identical in appearance to untreated burlap and not removing this product when planting will virtually assure tree failure. And it's pretty darn hard to remove burlap within a wire cage without removing the cage or at least a portion of the cage as well.


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

"...gradually leaks iron into the soil, a good thing...

Iron oxide (rust) is very insoluble and can form a coating on roots which prevents nutrient uptake. Not to generalize (but I'm gonna anyway) most iron deficiencies are due to soil pH rather than how much iron is there. Back in May musicalperson showed the best evidence for removing as much as one can.

tj


 o
Largest Autumn Blaze that I can buy to plant

I am new to this site so I'm not sure I am putting this in the appropriate place. I wanted to know how big (diameter and height) an AB maple I can buy to plant. I just lost a huge 100yr old norwiegen elm. I'm trying to come up with something that might somehow appease the irate neighbors (and a very mournful me). I want to plant a shade tree that is a fast grower, drought tolerant, fairly maitenence free and tall on my west side parking strip (Salt Lake City). I'm not interested in the Tulip or other maples for various reasons. Does anyone know of a "percentage" of larger newly planted AB's that actually make it?
Also, any other tree suggestions? Thanks for your help.


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

20 gallons, 3 times a week for a maple? How could any maple survive that amount of puny watering in sandy soil?

I have very fast draining sandy soil and I water our maples 1 time a week with the full hose for 4 hours each tree. I put the hose way back from the drip line and the entire area gets saturated. Once I remove the hose, the water disappears into the soil and is gone within 20 seconds. A tree farmer I live next to said it is impossible to over water anything with our soil. He laughs at how I hover over my trees and always taking pictures of them. Even he doesn't do that to his trees and he sells them. lol

That's about 2600 gallons a week, that is if my math is correct. Our water pressure is so that we can fill up a 5 gallon bucket in 45 seconds. Thank God we have a water well. I will water them like this for the first 5 years and after that I'll probably water them like this every 2 weeks or so. We never get rain here in the summer so these trees would starve for water if I didnt water them. Some neighbors of mine planted three Crimson King Maples in their front yard, and did nothing with them. Didn't water them, mulch them, and planted them way too deep. They lost all their leaves within a couple of weeks. They just didnt take care of those trees at all.

My trees are doing terrific, and growing so fast, and they all get full sun all day long. I think it is crazy to water them only 60 gallons a week in sandy soil, but mileages vary I guess. Some would disagree with how much water my trees get, and that's ok too.


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

This tree did very well this year and appears to have "taken." It showed growth and filled out beautifully. The tree farm that we purchased it from, gave us the instructions for watering, knowing we have sandy soil (they are local and have the same soil). This tree and all of the others on the farm were grown in these conditions and are very healthy. Stunning in fact.


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

  • Posted by botann z8 SEof Seattle (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 27, 11 at 8:06

Thanks for the update Susanblooms1. It is much appreciated.
Mike


 o
RE: Planted first tree, 4' diameter Autumn Blaze - tips please

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 28, 11 at 13:58

FYI...Autumn Blaze (and all Freeman maples) are quite drought tolerant. You don't need to water them afer the first year or two as they establish quite fast.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Maples Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here