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Advice please

I have an acer palmation which is over 10 years old and the branches are brittle and hollow and it looks like it may have died. Is there anyway I can check it’s still alive. I have a small one which doesn’t have any leaves on it also ? My green acer is fine.

Any advice greatly received.


  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,512
    The brittle and hollow bits are most likely dead, but it doesn’t mean the whole plant is. The test usually recommended on here is to scrape your fingernail down the stems and if there is green underneath it’s still alive - you might have to go right to the main branches/trunk in your search for green.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,313
    With your thumbnail or a coin, just scrape a little bark from a branch. If the branch is alive, you'll see green just under the bark. If there's no green then that part of the branch is dead. Repeat this process on other branches.
    If all the branches are brittle and snap easily and there's no sign of green, then it's dead I'm afraid.
    All 4 of my acers are now in leaf
    A photo may help us give better advice

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • A couple of my photos of acer attached
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,313
    I think I may be able to see some tiny green shoots on some branches - is that right?
    If so there maybe hope.
    As FD says above - give it another month and see what happens.
    There is certainly some die back, so see what it looks like early June

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150
    At first I thought I could see a black branch of dieback... but it was just the wheelbarrow handle 😌.

    Looking closer with a 'pinch and zoom' I think I can see some small green buds starting to emerge.
    Agree with others, give it some time and TLC before you write it off.
  • Thank you everyone. Yes after I posted the photos I thought I too saw a glimmer of green sprouting so there maybe hope yet. It does get very windy and it doesn’t have the shelter it has done before, tlc it might recover
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