John Young wrote:Sounds like you have a seasonally parched water table. I have those conditions on part of my property much further south. Red maples seem to do well for me in that spot, there are a dozen or more growing quite well (up to 30" diameter). Don't know but it looks like you are but based on zoning you are on the edge of their natural range. I have had some success using trench drains to dry out a portion to allow a pathway for equipment.
John Young wrote:Unless you are talking a massive soil bag i wouldn't think you would want to elevate the tree root line up in a small soil bag, as it would risk exposing the top of the roots later should the tree outgrow the raised area or the soil wash away.
I would suggest trying to figure out a tool or method to be able to directly plant your seedlings.
Mk Neal wrote:Not sure how it applies to zone 1b, but my parents house in zone 4 had a low spot that often had standing water, and silver maples thrived there.
Jamin Grey wrote:How old are y'all's maple trees?
If planting a maple tree, do I really have to wait 30-40 years?
Can I at least get some production tapping a maple tree at, e.g. 10 years?
What species can I tap earliest?
John Young wrote:I think that being able to dig into the soil right now is promising, to be able to directly transplant seedlings while they are dormant. My limited research shows red maple as slightly more cold hardy than silver, something to consider.
I think short of dozerwork to recontour the area, planting plenty of trees that can tolorate the seasonal ground moisture while establishing a root system to help stabilize the soil is likely your best bet. If you have access to cheap seedlings that may be a good option, or collect seeds and sprout your own.
I have a dozen plus volunteer red maple tiny seedlings I moved to a garden area and plan to transplant to permanent homes next winter when they are slightly larger.