The Q&A Archives: Maple Tree Not Leafing Out

Question: It's May 26th and my maple tree hasn't leafed out yet. There are many small buds but no leaves. I have checked the soil and it's getting enough water. What am I doing wrong?

Answer: You may not be doing anything "wrong." The tree could be genetically programmed to be a late starter, or weather conditions could be affecting it. Check to see what other maples in your neighborhood are doing. Is the water soaking 3 feet deep and being applied at the dripline (canopy edge)? This is where feeder roots absorb water and nutrients. How old is the tree and how long has it been in the ground? If you just transplanted it, that could be the issue. If it's a mature tree that's leafed out before, there may be a problem with the roots, either not getting water or becoming rootbound. If none of this seems to apply, I suggest you contact your local County Cooperative Extension office Master Gardeners. There is an office in Prescott. Good luck!

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