In May of 2020 we transplanted 20 maple trees in front of the syrup building. We expected some would die. But last year we still had 10. Seven more died over the 2021-2022 winter leaving three. We were hopeful that after two years the remainder would make it and disappointed to see the die off.
Also, a tree we transplanted in fall of 2012 thrived for nine years but declined this winter. The crown died off. In early spring it appeared the entire tree died. But some leaves are sprouting from the trunk now. Its wait-and-see if the tree survives but its growth is stunted.
Worse, many young maple trees of 4’ to 7’ died off. There were groves of young maples grouped together. When grouped together, they compete for sun and other resources. Some won’t make it. But all the trees in the grove dying off at the same time is unusual.
We aren’t aware of any disease that accounts for the die off of young maples unlike ash which have the Emerald Ash Borer killing many ash trees of all ages. We attribute this die off to the deep frost from the past winter which also delayed syrup season.
We did transplant a 4′ maple tree to the area around the gate. Both of the 2020 transplanted died there. After the leaves are out isn’t usually considered a good time to transplant trees. But we tried anyway. In 2005 or 2006 we transplanted a 10′ maple in July. Most the root ball fell away exposing bare roots. The tree is thriving and close to 25′ now.
We’ll continue to monitor tree health.