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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Pet Peeves and Maple Tree Seeds

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Maple Tree Seeds, Pet Peeves, Cell Phones

 We all have favorite pet peeves. These  have featured them in past almanacs but when I traveled to Mexico and Orlando recently, the peeve that I now find to be most annoying is the use of cell phones.  I am both amused and disgusted when a plane lands and some people pop open their cell phone for incredibly unimportant phone conversations. The same person will carry two bags and have the phone cradled between their ear and shoulder from  landing through baggage claim. I can understand emergencies but whether I am on a plane, grocery store or library, people just have a compulsion to talk and talk and talk. When it is loud enough to overhear, it is rarely of any importance except to the talker.

Are you a talk-aholic or is this a peeve? Love to have you weigh in at pgeiger@farmersalmanac.com.

Here is a question from a maple tree owner. “ I live in Michigan. I  was wondering why are there so many maple tree seeds this year?  thank you.”

I have never heard of any significance between maple tree seeds and weather or anything else. I am not seeing an abundance of seeds in my community but wonder if anyone else has a take on the number of seeds this year vs last. Could it be that there were heavy winds and the seeds came in greater numbers? 

12 comments

1 valerie { 07.25.09 at 12:27 pm }

I can strongly relate to what all of you are saying! I have 4 Silver Maples. I consider them a curse and a nussaince (these were well established trees when I bought the house). I never lived on a property with any large trees before so i was very naive (especially to the habits of Silver Maples). The last 2 years have produced at least 3 to 4 times their normal seeds (my Arborist confirmed this). He also told me that there is a new spray that some arborist/tree trimmers are using to make them sterile (not produce whirly birds) but he does not wnt to use it b/c it is extremely expensive ( about 300.00 per tree) I have a question; how many different types of seedlings can a silver maple produce? I always thought just 2: a male and female. If anyone can answer this i would greatly appreciate it.

2 Ken Reese { 05.10.09 at 12:14 pm }

This quantity of this year’s silver maple seeds is particularly bad in Indianapolis. They fill and block gutter downspouts, cover and stain patios and patio furniture and are difficult to remove from the lawn. There must be a commercial use for these seeds. With the quantity that just one tree produces, these seemingly useless and problematic seeds would be an inexhaustable source for some manufacturing use. Is there such a use?

3 Jerry W { 04.27.09 at 9:59 am }

One way plants respond to stress is to reporduce, thus for most of the responses this probably explains in part why the increase in seeds. – Stress over the past few years triggers the tree to produce more seeds. Keeping them cleaned up and now as they germinate controlling them by pulling when they are small, are the two best weapons you can use.

4 Elizabeth { 11.19.08 at 7:22 pm }

We have a maple tree and getting home today the seeds are raining from the tree it seems. However, they are small(1 cm), dried up, black and the inside is white. Along with the seeds is what looks like tiny pieces of wood the size of a poppy seed but they are not completely round. My mom is freaking out, suggesting termites. Please help!

5 Rebecca Wilcock { 11.06.08 at 9:33 pm }

Is there such a thing as birth control for Maple trees? Usually our two trees drop seeds twice a year, Spring and Fall. This year they have dropped a bounty beyond belief.
i would like to stop it from happening altogether if possible.

6 M J Heinrich { 11.04.08 at 10:33 am }

Same here in Indianapolis. Tons and tons of seeds and most stayed on the trees until the fall and now they are dropping by the bucketfulls except they are dried out. Normally I see them in the spring dropping when they are green but they stayed on the trees this year through the summer. Doesn’t seem like anyone has an answer to this…

7 Jo-Ann Bandomer { 10.11.08 at 10:31 am }

I just googled this question and came up with this site. We’re in NJ and had loads of seeds this spring, much more than normal, and we foolishly thought at least we’ll have less as the summer goes on..not so. These past few weeks we can pick up on our patio at least twice a day. I too was wondering if it had any connection to projected weather forecasts for the winter.

8 Norm Pel { 10.02.08 at 7:25 pm }

I have one giant maple that I have watched grow in front of my house since 1965. This year I have to sweep seeds twice a day from ny driveway and sidewalk. This never happened in such magnitude before over the last 43 years. I don’t know why either.

9 KBrennan { 09.29.08 at 1:14 pm }

I am also in Michigan and this happens ever three or four years. We have an excessive amount of seeds falling and what looks like bird droppings but I am wondering if it is sap? Can anyone tell me what is going on? It is making a mess on our patio that is very hard to clean up.

10 FTaylor { 09.14.08 at 7:00 pm }

Here in Loudoun County, VA, 50 miles NW from DC I have maples with far more seeds than I have ever seen. There was serious drought last year and the canopy of each tree is much thinner than in past years. But I do not know why.

11 Mark { 07.01.08 at 6:22 pm }

I also live in Michigan, and my yard is filled with Silver Maple seedlings. There must be hundreds of them. My yard is grass (mostly) because I treat with weed & feed, but right now it looks like the yard is covered in weeds. When you get closer, you realize it’s just maple seedlings. I’ve never seen this many before. Not even close.

12 Shelly Williamson { 06.07.08 at 6:05 pm }

I live in Upstate New York and am wondering the same thing ! We have NEVER seen this many Maple Tree Seeds before. We can blow them off the deck with our leaf blower and 1 hour later it is completely covered again !
We would love to know why ?

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