Do maple trees like acidic soil?

(708) 556-2700


When planting a tree, one of the things that need to be considered for it to grow into a healthy and strong tree is the conditions of where it is planted in. Just like what tree experts say, trees can be considered like children: if they do not have the right environment, it will be more difficult for them to thrive when they are growing older, and they will be more prone to disease and infection. Trees need the right nutrients, soil, water, and sunlight in just the right amount, as they have a certain preference, just like humans do.

Maple trees are considered one of the most beautiful trees that have unique foliage. They too have their own preference in terms of environmental conditions for them to mature to a healthy and strong tree, and one of their requirements has something to do with the soil that they are planted in.

Do maple trees grow best when planted in acidic soil?

There are many types of maple trees that can be found all over the United States. Some of these are the Sugar Maple, Red Maple, and the Silver Maple. Most varieties of maple trees love one thing, and that is acidic soil. If a maple tree is planted on soil that is considered to be acidic, it is almost guaranteed that it will grow and mature, as they usually thrive in this environment.





What does acidic soil mean?

Acidic soil, also called “sour soil”, is the soil that has less than a 7 pH level on the pH scale. Soil pH is the measurement of the condition of the soil and will determine whether it is acidic or alkaline. A measurement of 7 is often called neutral, and as mentioned above, if the number is less than the neutral mark, this would mean that the soil is acidic. If the level is more than 7, this would mean that the soil that was tested is alkaline.

Maple trees often prefer the soil acidity that is around 6 to 7 of the pH scale. Because maple trees are acid-loving trees, they will flourish when planted into our soil. However, this does not mean that maple trees only grow in such conditions, but will just grow “better” compared to one that is planted on non-acidic soil.

The proof that maple trees have a preference in their soil is apparent when comparing two maple trees: one that is planted on acidic soil and the other planted on soil that is alkaline. The maple tree that was planted in the acidic soil has brighter and vivid foliage compared to the other tree that is dull and weak-looking. This proves that maple trees indeed grow best when planted on acidic soil along with proper maintenance and care.

How do you know if your soil is acidic?

If you want to plant a maple tree into your lawn, it is obvious that you would want to know whether the soil in your property would be great for your tree. After all, you wouldn’t want to spend your time and effort in planting one to find out later on that it will not be able to get the nutrients and other needs it has just because you did not know what your tree requires.

Because maple trees like acidic soil, it would be great if you check the soil you are planning to plant the tree in. There are two ways to find out the pH measurement of your soil: The first method will be to test your soil yourself, although this will more likely not be accurate. The second and most accurate and hassle-free method is to contact an arborist, which is an expert who works in the tree industry. They will be able to help you test your soil, recommend a testing center, and even suggest what trees would work best for your area.

Method #1: Testing your soil on your own

If you want to test whether your soil is acidic before planting your maple tree, you can do this by buying a testing kit from a home improvement store.

You can also test your soil without buying anything by using the following materials:

Water (1/2 cup)

Baking soda (1/2 cup)

Clear and dry container

Soil sample



  1. Get a soil sample and place it into your clear container.
  2. Pour your ½ cup of water into the container and mix it with your soil using your gloved hand.
  3. Pour ½ cup of your baking soda into the mixture.

How to determine if the soil is acidic:

If the mixture fizzes a lot, it indicates that your soil is acidic. However, if the soil mixture did not exhibit a lot of reaction as soon as the baking soda was poured into the container, this would mean that your soil is not that acidic.

Method #2: Getting the help of a professional

Although the procedure above can be done with little cost, it can be imprecise. To accurately determine the pH measurement of your soil, you can get a soil sample and send it to a laboratory near your area. The laboratory may take a couple of days or weeks to check and will then send you a mail that will contain the results. Make sure that you have contacted the laboratory before sending your sample, as they will have specific instructions on how to properly collect your sample and how to send it to them.

After you get the result, you can ask your local arborist for suggestions in planting your maple tree.

Scroll to Top