Maple tree is dropping ends of branches with buds

Asked April 9, 2013, 7:34 PM EDT

Hello, I have a maple tree that is showing signs of something, and it is not good. It is what I call a "weed maple" but most likely it is a "soft maple". We bought it because we needed shade fast. This year it has been dropping its ends of branches with buds. Mostly it is bud drop, but there are also 3 to 5 inch ends of branches with buds dropping all over the yard and deck. Are we loosing the tree? Thank you.

Walworth County Wisconsin

1 Response

Bud or shoot death may occur when a prolonged period of unusual warm weather occurs during winter and "tricks" the maple tree out of its dormant state. If this occurred in your area, the buds and shoots would have begun forming. Then when the the weather turned back to being "normal" or even colder than normal, buds are already formed and when spring time comes they die and fall off the trees.

Also, if you area had a couple of below-freezing nights already this spring while the buds were emerging, some of the buds will die and fall off the tree.

In either case, your tree will not die. It should recover but the recovery may be slow.