On Saturday, 15 people attended Wildwood Farm’s introductory class on gardening with maples. The class surveyed different types of maples and discussed how to plant and care for them.
Roots and watering were major topics. One goal of the class was having people visualize the root system of a tree as it develops from somara to a tree. One tip is to use the width of the foliage as a measuring stick for the size of the root system. This is also a cue about where to water the plant.
A tree grown in a container, especially a large tree, has a much smaller root system. The watering schedule for a newly planted container tree is much different than one grown from seed. Watering is much more frequent, for shorter durations, and done closer to the trunk. As new foliage leafs out, this signals that the watering circumference can be widened from the original container diameter.
Large trees will need frequent watering for many [5+] summers before their roots are large enough to withstand hot days on their own. Maples have many fine feeder roots so a circular spray attachment on a hose or irrigation system is best.