Donna N
Donna N
  • Hometalker
  • Weatherford, OK
Asked on May 20, 2013

Silver Maple Sapling.

April EPatricia PiersonDonna N
+14

Answered

I had a silver maple sapling come up in one of my flower baskets when I brought them inside last fall..It stayed alive in the basket all winter and even had 2 little leaves on it. This spring, I transplanted it in a 5 gallon bucket making sure to get all of the roots even the tap root. It's doing wonderful and now has at least 10 leaves on the top of the "knitting needle" sized stem (or should I say trunk?). It's definitely getting taller but I'm not seeing much growth in the circumference. Is there something I can do to help it along? I really don't want to lose it as it's an offspring of a very large Maple we recently had to cut down due to disease. Thank you for any advice you can give me.
This is what it looked like when I first transplanted it. It's about 1 1/2 inches taller now and has more leaves on the top. But not much growth to the "trunk".
This is what it looked like when I first transplanted it. It's about 1 1/2 inches taller now and has more leaves on the top. But not much growth to the "trunk".
17 answers
  • Candy J
    on May 21, 2013

    I dont know what part of the country you are in, but here in e. Tn. a silver maple is not welcome in my yard. had a couple once and the root systems grows almsot on top of the ground and gets into everything. It is horrible. So I had to cut them fast growning suckers down and swore I would never have another one. Be careful what you wish for.

  • Nancy Bode
    on May 21, 2013

    Candy is right. I live in Iowa, and I had a silver maple in my yard. The year my oldest daughter was born the tree's roots got into my sewer line and collapsed it. Silver maples are water-loving trees, like cottonwoods, and are most common in wet areas like river bottoms. If you want your tree to live, find it a nice creek or river bank and plant it there. I mean it!

  • Douglas Hunt
    on May 21, 2013

    Donna, first of all I want to say that I hope you and your family are OK. Our thoughts are with everyone in Oklahoma right now. If your maple is putting out new foliage and seems happy, I wouldn't worry too much about the circumference at this point. Did you drill some holes in the bottom of that bucket? My biggest concern would be drainage. And make sure it is getting plenty of light, as a lack of it can cause legginess.

  • KatieAnn
    on May 21, 2013

    The best thing you can do for yourself and the sapling is pull it up. The fact that you had to have a silver maple taken down should be your first clue. They are not a desired tree here in Michigan. Basically they are weak. That means lots of limbs down every time the wind blows. My neighbor has 3 silver maples right next to our yard. We are now getting hundreds of those little spinners things on our yard & deck. In a week or so there will be thousands more. The only tree I can think of that would be worse would be a Chinese Elm and the neighbor behind me has one of those.

  • Nancy Martin Becker
    on May 21, 2013

    it's always enjoyable to watch something grow into a thriving plant or tree. i agree with most of the folks about silver maples. they have what is called "narrow crotch". this makes them susceptible to breakage in wind and ice storms. i would still have a hard time writing it off if you are nurturing it, though. just plant it away from your house and power lines.

  • Linda Manning
    on May 21, 2013

    I have a huge silver maple in our yard - limbs come down easily during windstorms - love the beautiful silver of the leaves but would definitely put it somewhere away from any buildings or structures. Living in Oklahoma means lots of wind & storms but if you plant it in the right place you can enjoy it for many years. Lots of sun & good drainage.

  • Donna N
    on May 21, 2013

    Thanks to all that replied! I am fully aware of the down side of a Maple tree but the majestic beauty of it out weighs any negative concerns. The one we lost was over 100 ft. tall and had a trunk circumference of 14 ft. It housed many squirrels and tons of birds. I miss it tremendously! Thank you Doug for the advice and yes, the bucket has holes drilled in the bottom. It's sitting on my deck and gets all day sun. I'll try not to worry about circumference at this point. Any suggestions for over wintering? Should I bring it indoors or keep it outside in the bucket??

  • Nancy Hand
    on May 21, 2013

    Donna, by the fall it should be big enough to handle the winter. You might want to protect the roots until you plant it in the ground. It sounds like your doing all the right things. Maybe give it something to eat. :) any all purpose fertilizer will be fine! I love maples myself! :)

  • Patricia Pierson
    on May 21, 2013

    Donna , when I moved away from Ohio "thank you Jesus" I brought with me a Red Leafed Maple. It was in a pot that had a special plant in it. The 1st year it got to be about the size of your plant. When winter came I thought it died. I just couldn't bring myself to pull it up. But much to my surprise it came out again the next year. That poor tree has been in only 2 pots in its life and last year I put it in the ground. It is almost as tall as I am but twice as round. My point for this ramble is: Let go and let God, its his plant he has gifted you to enjoy. You know all the sides of it and it has your heart. I would plant some trailing perennials with it so you focus on those till your Little one takes over. It's putting the BRITE side on it while you wait. Sad ending to my 8 yr story is my tree being: big and the wrong time of the year to transplant I can't bring it out to my new place. My heart is sad! :(

  • Donna N
    on May 22, 2013

    Thank you Nancy Hand. I will feed it tomorrow. And Patricia, what a wonderful story! I'm so sorry you had to leave it behind. I am very attached to this little one as it's "parent" and I had a very special bond. Can't explain it really but I could feel it. I so much want it to do good and be as majestic as my "Old Man Maple" was! Thank you for your kind words!!

  • Vickie Foss
    on May 22, 2013

    Donna, I have a Silver Maple in my front yard, and LOVE it! My husband threatens to take it down, but he knows how fond I am of it. I love setting at the window watching the birds and squirels and chipmunks !

  • April E
    on May 22, 2013

    donna a seedling tree takes 2-3 years to start putting on girth and I wouldn't give it just any old plant food I would do I higher nitrogen as you are in the western part of Oklahoma and its gonna need it when you transplant into the wonderful clay soil also leave it out this winter just make sure its pot is against the house and maybe wrap something around it for insulation and remember to water if you are going to have a hard freeze ........................lol also I have a BIG silver maple I would love to get rid of if you want to hire a tree mover you can have it it is going to ruin my front patio but I live up in Guthrie lol

  • Donna N
    on May 22, 2013

    LOL April! Sure, I'll send someone that way!! (not) :-) Do you think I should repot it this fall before winter gets here? And shouldn't I water it all during winter not just when we get a hard freeze? And last but not least....do you have a brand of fertilizer you recommend for my "baby"?

  • Candy J
    on May 23, 2013

    I have never heard of a circumference that big for a silver maple nor one 100' tall. Could it be a different breed of a silver maple?

  • Donna N
    on May 23, 2013

    No, Candy. It was a silver maple. I'll see if I can upload some pictures for you...

    silver maple sapling, flowers, gardening, Silver Maple we had to cut downsilver maple sapling, flowers, gardening, Really do miss this big guysilver maple sapling, flowers, gardening, My granddaughter said she can finally climb the big Maple tree
  • Patricia Pierson
    on May 23, 2013

    Donna, I put leaves around my outside pots. No, not a few, I covered the pot and all. Then I water them so the leaves compact and add more leaves. if they try to blow away I will put a blanket on them to hold the leaves. In the spring I have leaves to use as mulch. Its a win/win for me.My son in law was so surprised when he was helping me clean up in the Spring one yr. he found 12-16 large pots under a mound of leaves.

  • April E
    on May 24, 2013

    a brand doesn't matter on fertilizers look at the label you are looking for a 20-10-10 or even a 20-20-20 if that is all you can find w/ macro-nutrients and yes you will water all winter not very often though because the tree is dormant and will not be using much water like maybe 1 time in 2 weeks but the reason you water thoroughly right before a hard freeze is this will "insulate" your roots water ice gets no colder than 32 degrees most trees hardy here can go colder than that if you water then no mater what the ambient temperature the roots do not get colder than 32

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