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Hyacinth Plant

Q.maple leaves not dropping

Zone Waterloo, Ontario | Naphy added on November 21, 2016 | Answered

This year, a large number of leaves on our maple tree did not fall. They turned a dull brown and shriveled up, but remained on the tree, even after very strong winds this weekend. Most of the maples in the area are bare, but I noticed a neighbor’s tree has the same problem. Will this affect the growth of new leaves next spring?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on November 21, 2016

This can happen if a cold snap occurred before your tree completed the process of dropping its leaves. Trees go through an active process of drawing back nutrients from their leaves and then causing the leaves to drop (known as abscission). If cold temperatures killed the cells involved in the process before the leaves fell, the leaves might stay on the tree all winter. Fortunately, this shouldn't hurt the tree, unless it happened multiple winters in a row.

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