Author: Joe Boggs, OSU Extension, Previously published on Buckeye Yard and Garden onLine – May 5, 2021
Concerned Ohioans are reporting their maples have stunted leaves or no leaves at all; particularly towards the top of the tree. Several issues can produce thinning maple canopies including poor site conditions, girdling roots, a vascular wilt disease, etc. However, it’s unlikely one of these issues has become so common or multiple issues have converged to produce a general widespread maple malaise throughout Ohio.
It’s more likely the common condition of thin maple canopies is a condition common to maples. Indeed, red (A. rubrum), silver (Acer saccharinum), and sugar maples (A. saccharum) in many regions of Ohio, as well as Indiana and Kentucky, have produced loads of winged seeds (samaras). The challenge is that the timing of the blooms and thus seed production varies widely between the three dominant maple species in Ohio with red maples usually the first to bloom and sugars the last.