Today’s ag report: Maple trees

How drought is impacting our trees
Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 11:06 AM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Welcome to this week’s ag report where we talk about stories and ideas that demonstrate that agriculture happens on more than just the farm.  And this week we will be talking about drought and other factors that are leading to some area trees changing colors earlier than others.

“Biggest trees we are seeing problems with are sugar maples one of the biggest reasons is the environment.  We seem to be getting a lot of hot dry weather here and it’s causing a lot of stress in these trees and the stress can  bring in other factors.”

And one of those factors is called girdling and is noticeable around the base of the trunk.

“This is a surface root, coming from the maple tree itself and wrapping back around the tree.  And it’s starting to bulge out on the tree which is starting to restrict water and nutrients that could be available to the tree.”

Girdling is something that can be prevented as long as you’re taking proper precautions.

“If you catch it at a small size that is preferred, but in a root like this you would like to cut both sides to stop the root from growing any larger, but if it is fused you can take a light tug to see if it’s on there.  IF you pull too hard it could cause more damage than good by trying to pull that root off the tree.”

While we are seeing more early fall colors in many sugar maples in our area we can do a few things that can help fall colors in all of our trees.

“When we go through a drought, every tree is going to be impacted. Adding water to your tree will only help increase those colors. A lot of fall color is determined by what’s going on with earth. We are getting further away and the amount of sunlight per day is going to activate that.”

And thank you to Robert Spartz for taking the time to chat with us.  If you have any questions or ideas you’d like to see featured on this segment.  Send us an email at  That’s it for this week’s ag report.

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