The Q&A Archives: Not Very Many Leaves on Maple Tree

Question: The maple tree in my back yard is about 20 years old. This year the tree didn't have as many leaves as usual. There are a lot of dead branches also. It still seems to be growing. Does it just need to be trimmed? If so can I do it myself?

Answer: Maple trees can experience any number of folar diseases and also simply go into a decline. Unfortunately it is impossible to diagnose the problem based on your description. Since the leaves have done their job for now and will be falling soon anyway, there's not much to be done for this year. Next spring, you may wish to consult with a professional arborist or with your County Extension (652-3370) as to the cause of your tree's problems and suggested treatment, if any. The dead wood can be removed, in any case, and really should be if it is posing a hazard. In my experience, a 20 foot tree is just to big for a homeowner to tackle -- most of us do not have the proper tools and equipment to do the job safely and well. So again, a professional arborist would be the person to call. Removing dead wood can be done at any season. I'm sorry about your tree.

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