Before ordering your trees from a nursery, take time to make a plan. A little time spent planning your tree planting project can pay dividends in the years to come. Here are some helpful hints to consider before starting your tree planting project.
ADVANCE PLANNING: Walk the area you plan to plant and ask yourself some questions:
- Are native maples present near the planned planting location or elsewhere on the property?
- Is the topography, soil texture and drainage suitable for planting native maples? Soil texture and drainage will guide your tree species selection.
- Should I have the soil sampled to determine fertility and acidity or alkalinity?
- Will work have to be done in advance of the planting to reduce or control competing vegetation to ensure your planting will succeed and who will do this?
- Which species best suit my objectives, where will the trees be planted, at what spacing and will I need help to plant the trees?
If you need help, contact the extension services staff of the Conservation Authority in your area or a professional arborist for advice and assistance. They may direct you to other agencies for additional help.
PLAN before you plant:
- Draw a Planning Sketch that shows orientation, boundaries, access routes, structures, obstacles, utilities and existing trees.
- Mark the area you want to plant, then ask yourself:
- Are there any overhead or underground utilities and other services to be considered?
Ontario Hydro specifies a tree planting setback of at least 8 metres from the centreline of the overhead wires. Maple Leaves Forever recommends a minimum setback from overhead powerlines of 10 metres. Click here for information on tree setback.
- Check with your local municipality and electrical services providers for any ordinances or guidelines that could affect where trees can be planted on your property.
- Decide the SPECIES, SIZE and TYPE of tree that will be planted.
Experienced professionals recommend a minimum SIZE of 175 – 250 cm (6 – 8 ft) when planting native maples along roadsides or laneways and a SPACING of 7.6 – 9.1 meters (25 – 30 ft) between trees.
This size of tree has a high survival rate when planted properly and given adequate post-planting care.
What TYPE of tree should you plant?
Native maples are available as bare root, container grown and B&B (balled and burlapped) stock. Click here for our post to help you decide which stock type is best for you. Your local nursery or arborist can help you decide which stock type is best for your purposes and when to plant.
WHEN to plant your Native Maples?
- Most trees are planted during their dormant season – in the early spring before bud break.
- Bare root (BR) recommended for spring planting only.
- Container grown and balled and burlapped (B&B) trees can be planted over an extended season.
WHERE can you purchase Native Maples?
- Your local municipal office can provide you with the names of tree nurseries in your area.
- The Maple Leaves Forever website provides a list of Nursery Partners and their locations.
These nurseries supply native maples grown with known provenance and from locally collected seed sources, thus ensuring the trees are hardy to your environment.
You may be eligible for a Rebate when you purchase Native Maples from these suppliers. See our Rebate Application page for details.
We add to this Supplier list as new contacts are made.
Take your PLAN with you when you visit your local nursery. Use it to discuss your planting needs with the nursery representative or arborist.
Native Maple trees are in limited supply at most nurseries. We recommend that you order your trees well in advance of the planting season to avoid disappointment.
- LandOwner Resource Centre (1995) Planning for Tree Planting [Online] Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Extension Notes series. Available: www.lrconline.com/Extension_Notes_English/forestry/for_index.html [Accessed 1 Feb 2017]
- Arbor Day Foundation (No date) Tree Planting Guide [Online] Nebraska, Arbor Day Foundation. Available: www.arborday.org/trees/planting [Accessed 1 Feb 2017]
- Grand River Conservation Authority (No date) Forestry Fact Sheet: Trees, Soil Types & Drainage [Online] Cambridge, Ontario. Available: www.grandriver.ca/en/our-watershed/Landowner-resources.aspx [Accessed 1 Feb 2017]
- Maple Leaves Forever (Feb 2017) Planting Trees Around Powerlines [Online] Toronto, Maple Leaves Forever. www.mapleleavesforever.com/planting-trees-around-power-lines/ [Accessed 1 Feb 2017]