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loishideloishide Posts: 3
We have an Acer in a pot which appears to be dead, a lot of dead branches, have checked for greenery inside,but nothing, But a side offshoot has new buds sprouting, can we save the whole Acer?


  • Possibly yes.  Is it very big?  Do you have a picture?  

    I’ve rescued a couple from bad situations now and might be able to help but need a little info about size, position, variety and soil conditions / exposure.
  • loishideloishide Posts: 3
    Hi James, the Acer is approx.3/4 metre in height, a couple of years old, in a pot facing northeast, soil is John Innes compost, has a bit of wind, sun but not over exposed, was at front of house where it was too windy for it so we moved it to the back of the house. 
    Seems odd that main stem and side branches appear dead, but a lower branch has new shoots on it. Could it be pot bound? 
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,790
    We have exactly the same problem with our Acer Bloodgood.  We will leave it for a few years to see if it will grow into a more balanced shape. Currently the living part of the tree is very lopsided.  It’s tempting to cut the dead branches now, but on some of ours I can see small shoots lower down, so we’ll see how they develop.  
  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt Posts: 465
    edited April 2019
    @loishide my advice would be that if you wanted to repot or perform any root maintenance Spring isn’t a good time, particularly if the tree is struggling.  

    Can we first assess how much is dead/dying ...  working down the branches scrape a tiny section of bark away with your thumbnail  ... anything other than bright living green under the outer layer is dead or dying.  

    A photo will help assess the pot suitability / rootbound factor and other things.

    I have just recently had to perform some maintenance on a Beni Maiko that was in the ground but with just a few buds at the bottom and the rest dying.  Before leafing out I lifted from the ground, then pruned all dead branches.  It was only a 1' tree but I had to remove 75% of the branches.  I then washed all the soil off the roots using a spray hose, checked them and whilst they weren’t particularly rotting the root system was just small and not sufficient for the top growth.  I pruned any mushy brown roots away, repotted in a compact, small pot (to avoid root rot) with a mix of compost, pine bark soil conditioner and vermiculite with stones at the bottom inch of the pot and put in full sun.  I watered initially with a bit of aliette (fungicide) in case of infection.  The tree is now recovering and it has been almost 6 weeks.  Not saying this is right for your case but just giving an example ... )
  • loishideloishide Posts: 3
    Many thanks folks, will proceed with some of the above tips.
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