Maple Tree – Survival

Q: Landscapers planted a tall maple tree by our community mailbox area, then covered under it with pine straw. I am watering the tree every other day to help it survive. What should I do now? Fertilize?

A: Watering every day might be too much; I worry that the soil would stay constantly soggy. Instead, water deeply once per week. As long as the soil is slightly moist, roots will begin exploring the surrounding soil. I don’t recommend fertilizing a young tree until it is fully established. Scatter a cup of 10-10-10 under the tree next spring and next summer, then let it find its own nutrients thereafter.

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