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Thread: Maple canopy turned completely brown?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sunapee, New Hampshire
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    74

    Default Maple canopy turned completely brown?

    Question....my sugar bush is up on the side of a ridge in a small ravine. I was traveling back from a farm on the next ridge and while I was looking back at my sugar bush I noticed a very brown maple in the middle of the ravine. On closer inspection, this is a 20-25" single trunk, full canopy sugar maple that appears to have no trunk damage, healthy looking bark (no bugs, scrapes, etc) and a full canopy that has turned completely brown???? I have plenty of marginal trees, but this was definatly not one of them. The tree looks perfectly fine with the exception of all the leaves turning a crisp brown. Also, there are no other tree's in this ravine that have "turned" like this???? I've tapped this tree twice and both tap holes have (or are) healing fine. Any thoughts??? I've marked the tree and won't tap it this year....see what it looks like next spring. As a side note, we've had some pretty impressive lightning storms recently...I do not see any burn marks! Any one have any thoughts????

    Thanks in advance.....
    Hawkins Sugar House
    Sunapee, NH
    2x6 Patrick Phaneuf, raised flu
    500 taps (gravity)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
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    5,162

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    How dry has it been there. I haven't heard of it in maples but I wonder. I had in my blueberries some similar brown. I found it on the bushes in lower lying areas of the fields. My theory is that they developed less of a root system because the always "have moisture" Then a drought hit and the shallowest rooted ones suffered browning of the leaves while bushes on higher ground fared OK. My elevation difference over my 4.5 acres of blueberries is only about 1.5' max.
    I wonder if you had something similar. Too few fine root hairs to take up moisture?
    Dave
    Dave Klish about 1250 taps
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    adding a gooseneck equipment trailer someday to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator, with new welded pans by Thor for 2013, new Thor second syrup pan for 2014
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    W. Wardsboro VT
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    Default

    Even in a normal year it is the weaker or most stressed trees that turn color first.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Oneida NY
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    I expect this will not kill the tree, but it may be best to skip that ftee for next season to let it rest and recover. A tree when stressed too much will shut off it's leaves when the leaves are a negative for the tree, such as they lose more moisture than the tree can support from ground moisture. This is a protective mechanisim to insure the life of the tree.
    Dave Klish about 1250 taps
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    adding a gooseneck equipment trailer someday to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator, with new welded pans by Thor for 2013, new Thor second syrup pan for 2014
    250 GPH gas powered, converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.daveandjoanssugarhouse.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Sunapee, NH
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    101

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    I can come take a look at it at some point mike if your really concerned. could be drought issues, and has the potential to send out a second flush of leaves again or it did get hit by lightning. Usually if hit it blows the tree up pretty good
    Harding Hill Farm
    1350 taps, 3rd generation sugar maker
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hardin...52481014793209

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ashtabula County, Ohio
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    Here in NE Ohio I have seen many sugar maples along the roads with completely dead and crunchy leaves. I believe it is due to lack of water. There are some sugars in my yard that have entire branches with completely dead leaves. The entire branch is dead from what I can tell. These are not leaves turning color early, they are simply suddenly dead. I think wherever you see leaves like this, that entire branch is dead. If the whole tree is like that, Im afraid its pretty much a goner. The trees in my woods look fine.
    2.5x10 A&A Raised flue airtight arch, hood, preheater
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    Tapping the same trees my great, great and great grandfathers tapped.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    2,269

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by heus View Post
    Here in NE Ohio I have seen many sugar maples along the roads with completely dead and crunchy leaves.
    Trees on edges of fields and along roads are more exposed to wind and sun, so experience a higher evapotranspirational demand (they need more water). Thus you'll see water stress symptoms on them sooner than you will on other trees.

    In addition, in areas that use road-salt, the salt increases the osmotic potential of the water, and can interfere with root growth, both of which will impact the trees ability to take up water.

    In general, roadside and field edge trees aren't the best indicators of the general health of the forest proper....unfortunately they are easy to see though, so folks often assume all the interior woods trees wil be the same.

    Drought, if severe and prolonged can lead to mortality of maple trees, although it usually takes some time to manifest itself.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pandora, Ohio
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    128

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    Do you think then that the trees - if only in their first year of drought stress - are just shutting the leaves down for the season? We had saturated soils around here until March of April. Should the trees with browning leaves be noted and not tapped for 2013?
    RC Maple

    14X14 shack - new for 2012
    1.5x2 barrel evaporator (2012)
    2x3 barrel evaporator (modified for 2013)
    Started with 20 taps in 2012 - stopped @ 35!
    50 taps for 2013 - Great Year!

    http://s1200.photobucket.com/albums/bb329/RCMaple/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Whitehall NY
    Posts
    157

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    I too have noticed branches on some of my maples with dead brown leaves. It is weird bc its only on certain trees and others right next to them are very healthy with green leaves. We have had a lack of rain in upstate NY so i think its a combination of drought and sun exposer. While other maples are so healthy soaking up up the sun i think it could have to do with moisture in the ground. I have also seen riding down the road healthy looking maples with a big green crowns with one branch that all the leaves turned brown but havent fallen off any one with ideas what could be going on?
    3x12 leader woodfired classic arch with small brothers lightning pans
    400 taps on sap bags
    2200 taps on pipeline
    16x20 sugarhouse
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Colton, NY
    Posts
    291

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    Do the leaves have holes in them like they were shot with BB's? We had that a few years ago and the whole 40 acre bush turned brown in August. I can't remember what the name of the bug was (maple leaf borer and/or pear thrip come to mind but I could be out to lunch on that).

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