Maple losing small branches

Hi,
One of my neighbours at the back has a huge maple (not a sugar maple). The tree looks healthy has a nice shape and is full of leaves, but at a slight wind it loses small branches. Today, I gathered, on our lawn, 2 small buckets of these branches. These branches have 3 to 10 leaves on them and they are very green and big. There was a breeze but not strong enough to move plastic trays for plants that I was washing outside.
Is it natural for a maple to lose so many small branches? I do not recall seeing this before even in a big wind. My parents had 3 sugar maples in their garden for years and they never lost any leaves only in the fall when the leaves were red.
We have a triangular land, which gives us a big back garden with a neighbour on each side and 2 neighbours at the back. The other neighbour at the back has also an even taller maple (also not a sugar maple). This maple does not look healthy and is thin of leaves. Many of its branches have leaves only at the end of the branches. The funny thing is that this tree do not lose any branches only occasionally in a big wind. It is not a nice tree since half of the tree had to have its branches cut because of the electric and telephone wires. It is taller than a five-story house. The tree is about 10 feet from the corner of their house and 1 foot from our fence. It looks dangerous to me. Since it is not my tree, I have nothing to say but I am always afraid when there is a big wind. Especially, since, on the next street, two of the same type of maples fell during a storm a few years ago. There were just some damages to the fence separating two schoolyards. Both schools? buildings were far from the fence and no children were at school at the time.
Am I afraid for nothing? Is this neighbour asking for trouble? They are nice people with 3 young children.
If it was my tree, I would get rid of this big tree in such a small place and replace it with a smaller one like a fruit tree and I would enjoy the flowers in spring and the fruits in the fall. But it is not mine.
Françoise.
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mine.
All the trees in my area are dropping small branches and cluster of leaves because of the cicadas.
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Vox Humana wrote:

Thank you for your answer. It does not look as if we have lots of cicadas around here. I would know since they are usually noisy. Their singing is easily recognizable. We have many squirrels though. On the other hand, it is the first year it happens like this in over 25 years and we always had squirrels. Also, it is the only maple around here that seems to lose small branches. I would say that they are more like clusters of leaves than branches. Françoise.
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leaves
That sounds like squirrels to me. Maybe you have had a sudden population increase.
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