How to Fertilize an Autumn Blaze Maple Tree

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Bright foliage is the hallmark of the Autumn Blaze Maple.
Bright foliage is the hallmark of the Autumn Blaze Maple. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Known for its striking crimson foliage, the Autumn Blaze Maple is a trademarked hybrid that was developed by crossing silver and red maple trees. Like most plants, Autumn Blaze Maples benefit from the use of fertilizer. The correct fertilizer helps the tree to grow and produce more of its signature leaves. Knowing how to fertilize your tree appropriately can help it thrive and produce quality foliage.

Obtain fertilizer that is appropriate for your Autumn Blaze Maple. Fertilizers typically come with a set of three numbers on their bags. The first number indicates the amount of nitrogen in the fertilizer, the second number corresponds to the amount of phosphorus and the third number gives the level of potassium. Autumn Blaze Maples typically do best when nitrogen levels are high; therefore, look for fertilizer bags that have high first numbers, such as 16-4-8 or 12-4-8 combinations. In addition, slow-releasing fertilizers are beneficial as they supply nutrients to the tree over long periods of time. Some fertilizer labels will specify if they are suitable for your particular maple tree.

Apply the fertilizer by hand once a year to your Autumn Blaze Maple in the early spring or fall. Feeding the tree at this time will help its new buds to grow and produce healthy and bright foliage.

Sprinkle the fertilizer around the base of your Autumn Blaze Maple. Spread fertilizer over the tree's root zone; drill holes into the ground if the soil is compacted . Create holes that are 4 to 6 inches deep and 2 to 3 inches apart with a punchbar or drill fitted with a 2-inch auger. Start 2 feet outward from the trunk and continue imaking holes 2 feet past the branches. Place the fertilizer directly into the holes. The amount to use depends on the size and age of the tree, along with the type of fertilizer. Check the back of the bag for instructions; however, a general rule is to use ½ to 1 cup of fertilizer for small trees and shrubs or 0.1 lb. of fertilizer for each inch of trunk diameter for large trees.

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