Acer rubrum ‘Brandywine’
Vibrant color and rich reds are synonymous with the American Red Maple Tree. The Red Maple truly earns its name, with its red flowers in early spring, red twigs of new growth, and spectacular red leaves in fall. Its dazzling fall show is further diversified with a few orange or gold shades under certain weather conditions.
Even better, the American Red Maple adapts to any environment. The American Red Maple Tree is one of the most populous trees in the eastern U.S. because it adapts so well to many different environments. It is quite drought tolerant, but will grow in wet boggy areas, especially in the Southern portion of its range.
Plus, this ultra-strong Maple grows in nearly any soil type, from sandy loam to heavy clay. And though its leaf colors can be affected by less-than-ideal conditions, it even tolerates pollution and an urban environment.
It’s tolerant of soggy soils, but well-drained soil is preferable for your American Red. When you’re ready to plant, select a spot where the tree is in full to partial sun exposure (4 to 8 hours of sunlight per day). Then, dig a hole that’s 2 to 3 times the width of your tree’s root ball and equal depth. Place your tree in the planting hole, keeping the top of the root ball even with the ground. Fill a small amount of the soil into the hole to maintain the tree’s upright position and water thoroughly. Once the water has absorbed into the root ball and surrounding soil, fill the remaining soil into the planting hole. Pack firmly and water a second time. Mulch to retain soil moisture and keep competing growth away from the planting site.
During its formative years, your Maple will require weekly watering. Even as it matures, your tree will still need plenty of water during the summer months. Be sure to water correctly – light green leaves are a sign of over-watering, while drooping leaves signify both over-watering and under-watering.
During the first growing season, use only slow-release fertilizer tablets on your new maple. Any 10-10-10 fertilizer is suitable. Fertilize your American Red Maple twice a month when it is coming out of dormancy and once a month during the summer. Discontinue before the tree returns to its dormant state.
Since Maple Trees bleed sap when their branches are cut, the best time to prune is when the leaves have fully matured. At this time, there will be less sap. Remove all dead or dying branches. Do this before you start cutting live branches; it will give you a better idea of what your tree looks like and how many of the live branches you’re going to need to cut. Look for large branches growing at narrow angles to the main trunk, branches that are rubbing others or branches that are growing inwards and crossing others. Remove the larger branches.
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