Helicopters are flying overhead all over the place! When I received the message below from Sandy, our DC Cooperative Extension Agent, I became acutely aware of the abundance of maple seeds all around my neighborhood. Her Tip of the Month was very informative so I thought I'd pass it along... Thanks Sandy!
Maple trees are capable of producing many seeds each year, but the limiting factor tends to be the weather, specifically those quick freezes and frosts after seed set. Without some type of freeze or frost to kill or injure these developing seeds, the die is cast for scores of samaras to rain down from the trees. This year just happened to be one that favored maple seed development. Remember that heavy seed production is not necessarily a good indicator of tree health nor should it be used as an indicator of impending tree death. It just means that well-timed freezes are needed to reduce the seed numbers, or hope for a really strong wind to blow them all to the neighbor's yard!