Maples Have Less Foliage This Year

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Q: I have three maple trees in my yard that for 35 years had full dense foliage. You could not see through them. This year, the trees have about 25% of the leaves that they’ve had in the past. They have more than normal dead branches. I’ve noticed other maples in my neighborhood with the same problem. Is this from the late freeze? Is there anything I can do? 

A: I think it is very possible that the winter freeze caused the damage. Some species and some varieties of maple vary greatly in their tolerance of cold weather. At this time in midsummer, all you can do is keep the trees watered. I think enough time has passed to identify branches that are truly dead so you can hire a certified arborist to take them out and shape the trees. Fertilizer now will only stress them. Very early next spring, put down some organic slow release fertilizer like Osmocote or Holly-Tone.

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