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Maryland Guide to Growing Trees

Every part of the United States has its unique climate and environment, which makes it challenging to grow trees in certain regions. But not to worry! Whether you’re looking to create a forest in your backyard or just want to grow some shade-providing plants, this guide will show you how.

Trees in Maryland

The Best Flowering Trees to Grow in Maryland

Weeping Extraordinaire Cherry Tree

The Weeping Extraordinaire Cherry Tree is both a vibrant and versatile tree for your garden. It produces the large, fluffy pink double blooms in the early spring that is more welcoming than any other trees’ color palette. It also has glossy deep green foliage in summer and rich burgundy tones that gracefully fall off of the branches during its descent into winter dormancy. 

Your tree will stand out on the block. Planting a tree won’t just make your home more beautiful. One-of-a-kind blooms bring wildlife to your garden, so these trees are ideal for flower bed focal plants or lining streets. Found mostly in urban neighborhoods, the tree is also tolerant of pollution making it great for planting near homes and taking care of stormwater runoff. 

Planting & Care

These trees grow best in moist, well-drained acidic soil with a pH level of around 6.5 to 7.0 in an area of full or partial sun. Dig the hole twice as wide and deep as the root ball. Leave a small mound of dirt in the center of the hole to hold up your tree. The roots should be spread out evenly throughout the hole, with no exposed soil around them.

To make sure that your tree grows healthily, water about every two weeks during the summertime or once per 3 weeks in fall. Newly planted flowering cherry trees will not require fertilizer for the first two years. A thick layer of mulch around the base of the tree protects and nurtures soil. When you are ready, fertilize one-tenth pound of nitrogen per year based on a tree’s age to maximize results. Apply it in spring or split it up into 4 equal applications during spring and summer. During the dormant winter period, prune cherry trees to ensure they have healthy branches.

Purple Plunge Weeping Plum Tree

The Purple Plunge is a hybrid plum, with weeping branches and iconic blushing pinks. Not only that, it’s one of the few fragrant varieties available: it invites you and your guests to enjoy its smell from your garden. This tree features bright blooms in the early spring that bloom long and amply, creating a strong color contrast with your yard. And unlike other trees, this fall will show off deep purple leaves on each stem to make for an exceptional piece of your landscape design.

The Purple Plunge has year-round appeal because it is both visually appealing and easy to cultivate. It tolerates poor soil, hot, humid weather, and freezing temperatures down to -10 degrees.

Planting & Care

To grow a successful “Purple Plum”, you should plant it in well-drained soil and full sun. Once your hole is dug, place the tree in and backfill with soil until the hole is filled.

To get the best performance from your new tree, water at least twice a week in dry or hot weather, and irrigate with a 5-5-5 fertilizer when spring arrives. When the plant is dormant during winter months, remove broken branches and dead foliage to shape as desired.

The Best Shade Trees in Maryland

Emperor Japanese Maple Tree

The Emperor Japanese Maple Tree is one of the most beautiful spring flowers which offers a showy crimson red display and low-maintenance growth.

One of the best Japanese Maple varieties that are known for its strength and vigorous growth, the Emperor has a height that ranges between 15-20 feet. Its convenient stature makes it good as a street tree in any city or town, or your yard. This variety will also keep an upright shape so care isn’t necessary as much!

Planting & Care

Select an area of well-drained soil that is also in a location with appropriate sunlight. For warmer climates, ensure the spot provides some afternoon shade and sun protection. Once you’ve established this spot, dig a hole 2 to 3 times the width of the roots as deep as it is wide. Place the Japanese maple, backfill, and tamp down the soil as you proceed to cut back on any air pockets. Then water and mulch the planting site.

The “average” amount of water supplied to the most common lawn and garden plants is usually enough for your new Emperor Japanese Maple. To help trees and gardens during the summer, we recommend watering plants in the early morning or evening.

These Maples don’t need much in the way of nutrients, so any fertilizer should be a balanced one for shrubs and trees. Apply this once per year in early spring before leaves appear if possible, or when you first plant your tree. Your tree will not need to be cut back until after it has matured for two to three years. You may do this at any point in time thereafter, but it’s not required.

Green Vase Zelkova Tree

The green vase zelkova has everything a shade trees could have. Diverse in many areas from its resistance to pests and diseases, ornamental of every season, and vigorous growth. These trees grow dark and oblong leaves in the spring, summer, and fall. It will have an autumn display of a variety of colors from brown-orange, to orange-brown, or even shaded yellow.

The Zelkova tree is a Japanese native featuring stunning branching that grows in an ornamental pattern as sculpture, and the bark peels off revealing bright orange underneath. This tree is not only drought-tolerant, but it does well in hot or dry climates and is tolerant of pollution and urban conditions.

Planting & Care

The Zelkova Tree is easy to grow in the yard, as it can tolerate a variety of soil conditions. To plant your tree, make a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball; you don’t need to do anything special with the soil beforehand. 

The Green Vase Zelkova tree can tolerate wet or dry conditions. Water the tree weekly when it is young in order to ensure proper growth. After a couple of years, you only need to water during very dry spells (check soil for moisture). Pruning may be necessary, but is not required if dead bark or branches are removed in the fall.

The Best Fruit Trees in Maryland

Gala Apple Tree

One of the best apples for growing in Maryland is a Gala apple, which is not susceptible to pests and diseases. The Gala apple tree is usually one of the first trees to bear fruit each season, and it’s low-maintenance enough that even beginning gardeners can get some delicious harvests. You can expect to harvest 6-12 bushels of Gala apples when mature and without harsh chemicals. These trees bear tasty fruit that cooks or stores very well.

While Gala apple trees are self-fertile, planting additional fruit bearers will result in a greater crop. The most effective pollinators we want to choose for your area are Fuji Apple Trees, Granny Smith Apple Trees, Red Delicious Apple Trees, Honeycrisp Apples Timbers, Winesap, and McIntosh Apples.

Planting & Care

Full sun and 6 hours of direct sunlight per day are crucial to growing healthy trees. Dig a hole twice the size of the root ball, but no deeper than four inches (10 centimeters). Be sure to carefully place the tree in the hole and then tamp down the soil around it. Fill any air gaps with wet dirt. For best results, minimize how much mulch you put close to the trunk’s base by three inches at least (7 cm); be sure not to cover more ground than this or else it can inhibit growth and kill your tree!

Regular watering is what your Gala apple tree needs to thrive. However, you may need to water more often when plants are being exposed to extreme heat or drought. To avoid over-watering or under-watering, check the soil below the root zone; if the soil is dry, it’s time to water.

It is best to fertilize the tree in late winter or early spring, but you can also buy commercial fertilizer produced for fruit-bearing trees and follow instructions. Once the tree has become established and is starting to bear fruit, it will need moderate pruning periodically. Prune only during dormant periods; make sure to remove vigorous upright stems as well as weak, damaged, or dead branches. For better performance overall.

Black Tartarian Cherry Tree

Want an easy way to grow delicious, homegrown cherries? Start with the Black Tartarian Tree. The tree is drought-tolerant and has a high production rate. You can enjoy cherries in just one year, with a sweet balance of tart and tangy flavor, the fruits are irresistible! This tree offers versatility too: you can use them in salads, pies, or other types of desserts. You can even try drying them for wintertime snacks! Best yet? The trees have few pests and diseases making it one less thing that will stress you out any season.

Black Tartarian cherry trees grow so quickly, they will provide a plethora of cherries without any work on your behalf. However, the Black Tartarian is not self-fertile and needs another variety to be effective. The most effective pollinators we have chosen for this area are Bing Cherry Tree, Rainier Cherry Tree, Lapins Cherry Tree, Montmorency Cherry, and Stella Cherry Tree.

Planting & Care

Tartarians can do well in any type of soil but should be planted where they will get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Well-drained soil is best for Tartarians. When planting, dig a hole three times the width of the root ball and just as deep. Place the tree in the center of the hole, and backfill with soil so that it is level with or higher than ground level. Tamp down to prevent air pockets from forming around roots. Spread mulch on top and create a ring about 12 inches outside the area. You want to either plant several feet away from anything else (especially other trees) or group together for sufficient coverage!

To make sure your tree is properly watered, you should note how much rain the area receives in ten days. If it has at least an inch of water every 10 days then no additional irrigation is needed. For trees that need more water, the best watering method is to use a slow trickling garden hose left at the base of the tree. To determine when to water your plant, simply come by and check around 2 or 3 inches from the soil; if it’s dry then you should add more water.

A year after planting a Black Cherry tree, prune branches in winter. Cut the tree into horizontal shapes and add space between branches to promote growth. Prune once yearly as necessary to remove drooping or weak limbs. Proactively fertilize in the spring and mid-summer with a nitrogen fertilizer twice annually, applying 2 weeks after planting and 4 weeks after the first application. When fertilizing around trees, be sure to space plantings 6 to 8 inches from the trunk of the tree. Avoid applying nitrogen fertilizer after mid-summer if temperatures are predicted below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in winter months.

When is The Best Time to Plant Trees in Maryland

The best time to plant trees in Maryland is during the warm seasons. In spring, you can start new trees from seed or transplant a young tree into your yard. Fall is also a good time to plant because it’s easier for plants to take root when the soil is moist and there are fewer insects around. 

Can You Plant All Season Long?

The short answer is yes, you can plant all season long in Maryland. There are many ways that you can plant all season long. The only time when it might be tough to plant is during the winter months, but even then some plants will do well! It’s not too late to start a garden, even if the weather is still cold. 

What are The Best Trees to Plant in Each Season in Maryland

Springtime

The best trees to plant during springtime are maples, oaks, elms, or any other deciduous tree because they need lots of sunlight! 

Summertime

The best trees to plant in Maryland in the summer are those that can withstand extreme heat and humidity. Some of these trees include Pinus, Sabina, or Quercus.

Fall time

The perfect time for planting deciduous trees is during autumn because they need at least six hours per day under direct sunlight before winter arrives so don’t wait until it starts snowing out there!  The best trees to plant are maples, oaks, and elms because they can grow best in colder weather.

Wintertime

The right time for planting evergreens is during wintertime! Evergreen trees will need at least four hours per day of direct sunlight.  Good choices are cypresses, pines, junipers, or any other coniferous tree.

What Trees Have The Least Invasive Roots in Maryland

The first tree on our list is the Pin Oak Tree. These trees have shallow roots that are seldom a problem because they grow out towards water sources like lakes or rivers and not onto other properties. They also thrive well without much maintenance, which makes them perfect for homeowners who want their yard to look green but don’t want to put any work into it! 

A few other trees worth mentioning include Douglas Fir, European Larch, Eastern White Pine, Western Hemlock, Redwood; Coast Redwood or California Redwood, and Coastal Live Oak or California Live Oak.

The Douglas Fir has the least invasive roots and can be found in Maryland at Bear Creek Woods. Another tree with less invasive roots in the European Larch, which can be spotted near Catoctin Mountain Park. If you are looking for a tree that is native to America, then Eastern White Pine will do just fine! It’s not as tall but it has beautiful foliage colors and an attractive bark texture. The Western Hemlock could also work well if you want shorter trees because they grow only 25-35 feet high! You’ll find this one at Patapsco Valley State Park.