The continuing adventures of the transplanted maple


You will recall the epic adventure of me planting this little red maple on the far side of the lake at Roundrock. Here is how it looked on our recent trip to the woods. It seems to have found its new accommodations to its liking and is thriving.

We had planted maples here and there at Roundrock in past years only to see them nibbled to stubs by the marauding deer. Now we’re being more selective in our planting and caging the little trees to protect them from the hungry beasts. Given the effort involved, our maple planting ambition is considerably reduced.

And I’ve given more thought to location. We had received two maples as a gift some years ago. They were cultivated from the maples that grow in Walden Woods, and I liked the idea of that kind of heritage in my forest. We planted them by the pond so we could enjoy their red reflections in the water in the fall. (This was before we had the lake.)

Unfortunately, these maples died. They died of thirst. The trees were set about fifteen feet back from the water, and I must have thought at the time that the ground there would be sufficiently saturated by the pond to keep the young maples wet enuf. Not so, of course.

Thus even though the maple above looks to be doing well, it still must survive the heat and drought of an Ozark summer. We chose to put it just above the lake in a slight fold of the land that might drain a little water past it. I hope that will help keep its roots moist, but I think I’m going to have to be vigilant about carrying water to this tree through the summer to ensure its survival. (It is also on the north-facing slope, so the ground will tend to dry out a bit less.) Fortunately, the lake will be close and I can just dip a couple of buckets of water from there to pour around the tree.

So everyone should have a hobby, right?

Missouri calendar:

  • Female coyotes wean pups.

2 Responses to “The continuing adventures of the transplanted maple”

  1. karl Says:

    have you ever tried to put a tiny hole in a container and filling it with water dripping on your newly planted tree. we buy honey in five gallon carboys that are allegedly cheap 2-3 dollars. i re-use them for this purpose because i can fill and cap them and keep bugs from clogging the little hole.

  2. rcwbiologist Says:

    Acer rubrum is one of my favorites and grows like crazy where we live. In fact, that is the species I’m going to plant in our front yard this fall, after hurricane season, since our house faces north and that part of our yard tends to stay fairly moist. I hope these maples make it through the summer at Roundrock.

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