Overabundance of maple tree "helicopter" seeds #625405 - Ask Extension

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Overabundance of maple tree "helicopter" seeds #625405

Asked April 19, 2020, 1:37 PM EDT

Last fall (2019), we seemed to have a heavy crop of maple tree seeds in our yard. While the squirrels loved them during the winter and spring, we now have seedlings popping up everywhere. Was last year's crop unusually high? If so, why? Thank you

Saginaw County Michigan

Expert Response

Hi;
Thanks for waiting to get this answer. I have observed the same thing this year, too. Seed production in maples can vary from year-to-year, and is often attributed to prior years of stress that induce greater flower production to compensate for that stress. Here is a good article describing that phenomena:

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/maple_seeds_dropping_in_soon 
Sarah Rautio Replied April 23, 2020, 1:33 PM EDT

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