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Acer....why has it been long and lanky with out many leaves on it all year

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Problems with my Acer....

Why has my acer become long and lanky with out many leaves on it all year?....I wonder if i need to prune it?....but ive read Acers shouldnt really be pruned

can anybody help please

Posts

  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 4,573

    Hi happyart100. Once all the leaves have fallen, you could trim the very long stems and remove any branches which had no leaves (will by dry and grey). I would treat it to a larger pot in the Spring, making sure it is well-drained by using crocs, some grit and 'pot feet' or similar. The Acer should be positioned in a fairly sheltered spot in dappled shade and kept moist with rain water.

    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,076

    Starvation?   Thirst?  Maybe exposure too.   The compost sold for use in pots only has fertiliser for 90 days, 100 at best, and yours is also host to weeds and/or moss which will be leaching out any remaining nutrients and taking water too.

    I would start now by scraping off all that layer of weed, loosen up the compost and add a handful of bonemeal before top dressing with some fresh compost and giving it a good drink.  Even dormant plants have root activity going on over winter.    Keep it safely sheltered from strong or cold winds.  It looks a bit exposed there.

    In early spring, water the pot well and let it soak while you prune off any pbvious dead wood which will look dry and grey.   Then tip out the whole tree and its root ball and tease out the roots which will most likely bound in a tight ball going round and round the pot.   Re-plant in a bigger pot if you can and use best quality John Innes no 3 compost.   This will provide good drainage and nutrients but you will still need to water regularly every week till leaf fall plus give it occasional liquid feeds - seaweed is good - until mid July.    Once planted, water well and then top dress the pot with some gravel or stone or slate chippings to help it retain moisture and prevent weeds.

    Last edited: 01 October 2017 16:50:40

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thank you so much for such a detailed answer. Very helpful

    Thanks.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,076

    Hope it works well for you.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • I have 2 acers in my garden- one is very big (over 30ft) and is growing well- the other is smaller- I don't know the variety but believe its grafted onto dwarf root stock- it used to do very well (been in same position 20+ years) but the last couple of years the leaves have become very sparse and show signs of damage or wilt. Don't think its wind or frost but wondered if it could be outgrowing its root stock and if I should drastically prune it and if so when?
    Advice would be much appreciated
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