crimson queen maple leaf drop off

Asked July 8, 2017, 12:14 PM EDT

After a heavy rain the next day I found curled dry leaves under the tree. What happened. What does sun scald look like

Nassau County New York sun scald leaf drop

1 Response

Sun scald is the name of a condition that occurs in the late winter or early spring and affects the bark on south-west facing trunk of thin-barked trees such as maples, lindens and fruit trees. The bark gets heated by strong late-afternoon sun and becomes active (wakens) before re-exposure to chilling night temperatures. The fluctuation cracks the bark. Similar fluctuations in wet and dry conditions can also create cracks on a tree's bark. A strong tree will usually recover from sun scald by itself as long as the damage is not extensive.

Many trees in New York have experienced leaf fall this spring and summer due to the extended rainy, cloud covered weather. Trees simply have not had adequate sun to create a strong canopy. It is important to look at those fallen leaves, however, for further clues as there are other issues, from nutrition to disease and pests that could weaken your tree and cause it to drop leaves in wind or rain. The pattern of discoloration of the leaf and any abnormalities on the trunk will help to answer the question. Curled and dry suggests a lack of water but there may be factors other than drought affecting the tree's ability to take up water and nutrition.