Do newly planted Maple trees need fertilizer?


My friends built a new home and put in small Maple trees. A tree company said it was $180 for one feeding. Can’t they do this themselves? Do you have some tree care brochures or links?


Jonathan Foster, Community Education Assistant

In general, trees that appear healthy and are growing at an acceptable rate do not need further fertilizing (while plants do take up nutrients from the soil, the primary resource they get from it is water, with sunlight and photosynthesis doing most of the work for their nutritional needs). Newly planted saplings can definitely benefit from a light feeding a few weeks after planting during the growing season, but care should be taken as too much too soon can actually inhibit root growth, damage the tree, or simply not be absorbed. All of that said, I would recommend getting a soil test before any additional fertilizer is added, as there may be plenty of nutrients in the soil as it is. If soil amendments are suggested by the test, it is absolutely something a homeowner can do as long as they follow the instructions in the test and on the amendment packaging.

Please refer to this Univ of New Hampshire fact sheet on feeding trees and shrubs for further information, particularly if and when new plantings should be fertilized.