I have a nice bunch of "volunteer" maples in my flower gardens. I would like to know when its best to transplant them? Do I separate each individual or are they better in 2s? Do I need fertilizer to transplant them? I hope to make a nice straight border with them. Thank you so much for your help.
Hardiness Zone: 3a
Natalie from Central SK, Canada
The best time I have been told and had success with, is after first leaf fall in the fall. Then the root energy really slows as the tree begins to go dormant for winter. After first leaf fall from frost, dig up your seedlings, be sure to get all the tap root, and take as much dirt with the seedling as possible. Move them to their new home. Be sure to plant them at least as deep as they were. Next spring, you should get to see them bud and leaf out again. Good luck! (08/27/2008)
When we plant trees we try to do it either in the spring (we have to water them quite a bit) or in the fall and let Mother Nature water them all winter long. Of course, you have to water at planting time and maybe beyond if there isn't enough rain. I would only plant one in each hole and pick the largest one. You can put something like plant starter in the hole, but I wouldn't fertilize a fall planting because they're needing to sleep, not put out new leaves that will be killed by the cold. The way I understand it, you don't want new growth just as winter is coming on. Sort of like not having calves in the fall. They're too young to withstand the winter. (08/28/2008)
I too have volunteer maples, although I don't want to transplant them. I don't think that you have to be too fussy with them. They grow like weeds. I also live in Sask, and I would get right on that transplanting now if you want to start them this fall. I think that with our severe winters, you want to give these little trees time to grow accustomed to their new spots.
Take a good look at how big these trees are going to be when you are planting them. People always plant trees too close together, at least I always do, even when I try not too! Be sure to get as much of the root as you can. Dig up really little ones, as the roots go a long way down. Once you have these established they are almost impossible to kill. (08/29/2008)
Natalie, we plant our maples that spring up, in the fall. We were told by one of the stores we buy plants from that fall is the best time and gives them a chance to adjust before winter comes. I live in Pa. I know what our winters are like along the lake and I know how bad Canadian winters get, so this should work for you also. We also plant a couple together they seem to do better that way. Good luck and also a little prayer helps!
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