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Acer positioning

We have been given an acer today and would like to plant it in a fairly sheltered position as I believe that they don't like a lot of wind.  Would it be preferable to plant with camellias, rhodos and pine trees in the same area rather than an open area that really is like a wind tunnel in the winter? What do we need to add to the soil - I have read that they just like ordinary garden soil, is that correct?


  • Acers like Ericaceous soils (buy it in the bag. They will tolerate sunshine but prefer a slightly shaded position. In full sun their leaves can become frazzled and burn at the edges - like mine did this summer. 
    Camellias and Rhodos or practically anything else are fine
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 1,621
    I would avoid the winter wind tunnel, it won't like that at all. It would be right at home with camellias, rhodos and pine for shelter though. I have also heard that you should avoid enriching planting holes but if you feel the need to do something maybe micorhyzal powder would be useful.
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 1,621
    Or even micorrhizal, doh!
  • Thanks ZeroZero and Steephill, we will take your advice and try the more sheltered position - we have had this gap to fill for some time and the acer should fit in nicely.  It needs some tlc as was given to us by someone who had planted it in the wrong place - in fact it needs quite a lot of tlc, so with your advice and a bit of luck we will have a nice looking tree in a year or two. I will try to remember to take a photo of it tomorrow.
  • B3B3 Posts: 15,969
    I have successfully grown acers on London clay, which I understand is slightly acidic but definitely not ericaceous -definitely can't grow rhododendrons. The main issue has been too much sun or wind which makes the leaves crispy.
    You can definitely grow some acers - but not all- in non-ericacious soil.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 763
    It's true they like a sheltered spot (I have 2 dwarf acers in my garden), but whether they like sun or shade does depend on their type and colour.

    Green/variegated  leaved varieties tend to like partial shade and can get scorched in full sun, whereas purple leaved like full sun and indeed need sun to bring out the best of their colour.

    I have grown acres in pots, but they are harder to keep moist and are slower growing, I find.

    When I replanted my potted dwarf acers to the ground, they took on a new lease of life. 
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 763
    PS: both of mine are grown on ordinary London clay.
  • We already have 2 established acers in large pots which were planted here as young plants and have done well, this new acer is already 5 or 6 foot tall. photo to follow, so I am not hopeful, but they are such lovely plants that we feel it is worth giving it a chance.
  • As an update today.  The acer is now planted in the position that is sheltered, with some sun, some shade and among camellia, rhodos and pine tree.  We added two small bags of ericaceous soil/compost stuff and some rotted down leaf mulch.  Watered plenty and hope for the best. The picture show the tree, but not in it's final position, which was full of sun this morning and no good for the photographer (OH). The tree needs a good prune, but I felt it wasn't the right time to do it, so perhaps in the winter when it has shed all it's leaves. Do you think it would be better to wait to prune it, say about 9 to 12 inches off the top, as it is very wispy.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 763
    Sorry, but I'm struggling to se what type of acers you have there, though it looks like a green variety that would like dappled shade / not too much direct sun or it scorches.
    I wouldn't prune an acre at all until it is fully dormant, usually November onwards, once it has lost its eaves, but before the new leaf buds emerge in winter.
    If you prune it now, it could bleed sap.

    Is there a specific reason why you'd rather keep it in a pot, may I ask?
    The pot it's in won't be big enough for it, for long.

    I'd check the roots for vine weevil too, just in case.

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