From a Maple sapling to a tree

Granddaughter Erin with her Maple sapling.

Granddaughter Erin with her Maple sapling.

We lived in Sonoma County, Ca and had a 7 foot maple in a large outdoor pot. Near it was a small house pot. We only surmise that a maple seed fell into the small pot because when we relocated to Phoenix Arizona a small twig with one maple leaf came up in the house pot.

Well, one leaf led to another and to another and to another. The twig has not grown much in circumference. My granddaughter loves this tree and cares for it herself, age, 7. We found out that in order for the leaves to turn color and fall we would have to gradually get it use to the outdoors as it is kept indoors.

Then when it frosts it would drop it's leaves.I want the sapling to grow into a nice Maple tree.

Should I transplant it into a very large container and will it survive in the Phoenix summer outdoor climate ( 115 degrees), Remember it came from California. If I leave it alone will it eventually die in that small container? Thanks, Grateful Grandma

Hi GG, I would say that maple trees are not really adapted to be in that kind of climate, so it's probably not going to ever grow into a massive gorgeous tree.

The best way to grow it might be to keep it in a container, gradually planting it every spring into a larger one than the previous year.

It's not good to give a tiny tree a huge pot, it's better to actually remove the soil and cut some of the roots off, rather like making a bonsai tree.

This encourages finer roots to grow, which have more surface area, so they can absorb the nutrients and water better than if they are the larger roots.

I also recommend that for the winter, if you get very cold below freezing weather for a long time you should bury the pot into the ground so it's more insulated. Root damage from extreme (or sudden) cold kills more plants than any other cause except overwatering.

Best of luck with your maple tree.

Comments for From a Maple sapling to a tree

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Sep 14, 2012
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your time and information but i don't understand why you want us to put it in the ground for the winter. If it's not ever going to adapt to the summer outdoor temps, why then?

As a hardy plant, they must undergo a winter dormancy. Keeping it as an indoor plant won't allow it to go dormant and it will eventually die. Just bury the pot into the soil, don't plant the tree out in the ground. I'll be waiting for updates!

Sep 15, 2012
by: Anonymous

There's no irrigation in the yard, no grass, just stone,wont the plant die without regular watering?

Is it dry in the winter where you are? I suggest a good drink now and again, but you won't need to keep it soaking wet. Trees go dormant in the winter, and once it loses its leaves it won't need much water.

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