COLUMBUS, OH -- Red and silver maple trees across the state produced an abundant amount of seed this year, creating a nuisance for Ohio homeowners as these familiar "helicopters" fell over yards, filling gutters and downspouts and covering driveways and sidewalks.
Why so many seeds this year? Foresters with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) say this year's heavy seed crop on "soft" maples - those that produce seed in the spring - is a natural phenomenon.
We can thank Ohio's current maple seed production on both last year's unusually warm and sunny fall and the mild weather experienced across the state earlier this spring, explained ODNR Forester Dan Balser.
Last fall, flower bud formation in soft maples enjoyed favorable weather conditions. As the trees bloomed in early spring, the warm and sunny days resulted in good pollination and increased seed production. Balser also noted there was little frost or freeze injury to those seeds as they matured in recent weeks. He added that such bumper seed crops happen only occasionally and that soft maple reproduction is simply at a high point this year.