Planting trees is the best way to add the "bones" to your landscape. Maples are a popular landscape choice for their fall color. Useful in the home or commercial landscapes, they provide shade, serve as windbreaks, clean the air and provide wildlife habitat.
Ways They Are Sold
There are three main ways to buy maples, balled and burlapped (B&B), container-potted or bare root. Container type, or lack of container in the case of bare-root maples, determines when you plant.
Best Time for Balled and Burlapped Maples
Balled and burlapped maples are cut from the ground and have reduced rootballs. Plant them before spring top growth begins. Late winter (February) through early spring (March, April) are the best months. Planting early in fall is acceptable because leaf and shoot growth has slowed.
Best Time for Field-Potted Maples
Field-potted maples are field grown, then dug up and containerized for sale, usually in spring. Plant maples potted in field soil immediately. The soil in the container will not support good growth.
Best Time for Container-Grown Maples
Since there is little root disturbance, maples that are entirely container grown can be planted spring through early fall. The best time is while the plant is still dormant, because roots grow into the surrounding soil slowly. The slow root growth will not support rapid spring leaf and shoot growth.
Best Time for Bare-Root Maples
Plant bare-root maples during dormancy so roots become established before top growth starts. Late winter through early spring is best depending on your climate. Use Nation Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration freeze/frost maps to determine the last frost date for your area.