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Hi We have a lovely mature Acer tree planted in the front of our garden (15 years old-c7 Foot tall).

It has grown well over the years and provided much pleasure but around 18 months ago we noticed that one side of tree only was no longer producing its distinctive purple leaves and now I could only describe this side as "dead". The other side so far looks fine.

Is there a way this tree can be restored to its former glory?

Help please


  • Thanks for that, we will give that a go.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353

    Just a thought or two Phil - have you any idea what might be causing the damage? Often, if they're in a windy exposed site, they're more prone to a bit of weather damage. It may be a bit on the dry side too - they need a fair bit of moisture. There's quite a lot of other planting there, so it may have struggled a bit as it grew. 

    I feel if you prune too much off that side, it's going to look very lopsided. Perhaps you could take off that left hand branch completely - right back to the trunk. You could then prune the whole thing carefully, once it's dormant as DHR suggests, to keep a balance. It's quite tricky to get it right though. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Not sure about the damage, but yes it could well be wind damage.

    I am going to prune as you suggested, clear the area around the Base so it's not competing for nutrients and also to add some mulsh and compost.

    It's such a beautiful tree so we are going to try everything to give it the best possible chance.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,978

    I've never grown acers, so this is very much a tentative suggestion, but working on the theory that 'growth follows the knife' would it be an idea to prune the left side of the tree harder than the right, hoping to stimulate stronger growth on the left to eventually rebalance the tree?

    See here  "...For most species, the harder a plant is pruned the more vigorously it will grow back. Light pruning will encourage slower but more branching growth. These principles can be used for many trees and shrubs to reshape an uneven specimen by cutting the weak side back hard but the stronger side lightly...." 

    What do the acer growers think?


    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • I grow Acers but not had the same problem And it was grown in the lawn in a circle of soil. It was bought as a sapling from Morrisons supermarket at least 15 years ago. Its  still growing but I had to leave it when I moved bungalows..sad day that!

    What I do know is that Acers tend to grow more on one side than the other.

    I have two Acer here called Orange Dream a lovely golden yellow. Very healthy.


  • If it ever stops raining here I am going to give mine a prune like that. I ordered new hand shears that will do the job nicely...she hopes.

    No matter its out of control and needs a good prune.


  • B3B3 Posts: 27,015

    Have a look at the other acer threads. There's a right time and a wrong time to prune the live bits.

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • We should really wait till the sap goes down. 

    Thanks B3!

  • B3B3 Posts: 27,015


    In London. Keen but lazy.
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