Leaves on my maple are small #330770 - Ask Extension

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Leaves on my maple are small #330770

Asked June 09, 2016, 10:33 PM EDT

The leaves on my maple tree were small and now are dying and falling off. What is the problem?

Buchanan County Missouri

Expert Response

I need to know a lot more information. Is it a young tree, old tree, just transplanted?  Watering practices, mulching practices, weed trimmer practices. That's just a start, we'll go from there once I get more info.
Beth Wilson Replied June 15, 2016, 2:22 PM EDT
It is 8 years old.  It is mulched around it and no weed trimmer used. I don't water it unless it has been extremly dry out.  Last year it seemed to have lost its leaves earlier then normal.
The Question Asker Replied June 15, 2016, 3:49 PM EDT

Sometimes just compacted soil (like those around most homes) or conditions that are stressful can make the tree produce leaves that are small.  Also drought (which is a stress).  It is difficult to know for sure without seeing it.  Call you local Extension agent and see if they can do a site visit.

If you wanted to do something proactively, I might suggest watering with an oscillating sprinkler over the rooting area during times of drought. Water should be applied in the very early morning (4-8am) and you should put down about 1.5 inches each time. Get a butter dish or pie pan to measure.

Also, fertilizer would be something to do proactively as well.  Fertilizer should be applied to trees and other woody plants around thanksgiving. Not knowing a soil test, I would apply 10-10-10 at a rate of 20# per 1000 sq ft (2# per 100 sq ft) to the area out from the trunk at least 1.5 times the distance from the trunk to the drip line.

Beth Wilson Replied June 16, 2016, 9:47 AM EDT

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