The Q&A Archives: Tree planting ceremony

Question: In my wedding ceremony I wanted to include an inner ceremony of planting a small maple sappling, preferable the sugar maple. I would have to plant it in a pot for the purpose of the ceremony. Is the maple just too large for this sort of thing? I was thinking that if we had a sappling that was no larger than 12 inches it would work well. After it is planted in the pot, would I be able to allow it to continue to grow as a potted tree for a time? Thank you so much!

Answer: I think the size you are envisioning would be better described as a small, first year, seedling. You might be able to use a small seedling sugar maple tree and repot it, meaning move it from a small pot to a larger pot during the ceremony. Then you might be able to grow it in that larger pot for a few months prior to planting it in a permanent location. To some extent this depends on the time of year the ceremony occurs and whether or not you would be able to care for it regularly from that day forward.

The first problem with this is in obtaining such a young maple tree, and then caring for it adequately until it can be planted in the ground. Professionally raised container grown trees are given meticulous daily care in terms of soil mix, feeding, watering, formative pruning, and so on. It is difficult to keep a tree healthy for any length of time in a container under home conditions.

If your main goal is to plant a sugar maple tree, you might be happier in the long run if you purchased a good quality tree in tip top conditions from a reputable nursery; it would have the best change of growing heartily and should also have a pleasing shape and strong framework of branches that would help it achieve its full potential over the coming decades.

I'm sorry I can't be more encouraging about using the tree in the ceremony itself. Perhaps you could encorporate a symbolic maple tree by using something like maple candy shaped like a maple leaf instead. But, I hope this helps with your planning.

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