How To Keep A Red Maple Tree Bright And Healthy

Red maple trees are truly a thing of beauty with their purplish leaves and broad, shady canopies. If you have one or more of these trees in your land, it's worth your while to do all you can to keep it healthy and vibrant. Here are four tips to help properly care for your red maple tree.

Be careful with your lawn mower.

Red maples' roots tend to stay close to the surface of the soil. This makes them easy to hit with the lawn mower if you're not careful. Hit a root, and you could not only impede the tree's ability to gather water, but also expose it to various fungal infections that like to enter the tree through such wounds.

Pay close attention to the location of your maple tree's roots when you're mowing. Consider raising your mower blades so you don't scrape any roots accidentally.

Supplement the soil.

If your soil is neutral to alkaline, your tree will still grow, but its leaves will look dull and pale. Adding some sphagnum peat to the soil every now and then will help keep it acidic, resulting in a brighter colored tree. Sphagnum peat is sold at most garden stores. You can just work it into the soil around your tree and then water it in well. Another strategy is to top-dress the soil with the peat. Just scatter a thin layer, about an inch thick, in a wide circle around the tree.

Water the tree as needed.

Because red maples have such shallow roots, they tend to suffer more in a drought than other trees do. So, if there's a time period over which you do not get much rain, make sure you water the tree. Let the hose run a few feet out from the tree's base where the roots are located. Keep it running for about an hour to fully moisten the soil, and repeat this once or twice a week until rain starts falling again.

Have it pruned.

Arrange to have a tree care service come prune your red maple every one to two years. This way, any dead branches will be removed so they can't leach nutrients away from the rest of the tree. Pruning also maintained adequate airflow through the branches, which keeps the tree from becoming too moist and prone to fungal infections.

To learn more about caring for your red maple, reach out to a local tree care service. For additional insight, you will want to check out a website such as