Sugar maple problem
Our 23 year old sugar maple has small, sparse leaves this year. I also noticed some are starting to turn color. The tree had a ton of “helicopters” this year too which is unusual. Last summer we removed some low branches and planted hostas around it. When we cut branches off we noticed some of the leaves had black spots on them. This is our biggest, best shade tree. We’d sure hate to lose it.
We have noticed similar problems this spring in a variety of trees which don't seem to be leafing out fully, produce lots of seed, etc. Is it due to the unusual winter? We don't know yet. My neighbor's silver maple is doing the same. Our recommendation is to do nothing at this time and wait and see what happens. At least it has leaves and is thus able to "feed" itself.