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What’s up with my Acer

my red acer only seems have leaf at the bottom and not much sign of life elsewhere.
i did see it in leaf last year (new garden) and it looked great.
its quite sheltered where it is.Is it a late leafer?I really hope it isn’t dead.
i have another couple of green acres in the hedges and they are fine.


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384
    It's not looking good, Sarah.  :/   I suspect it has been out-competed by what looks like acanthus, hellebore and hypericum.  You need to keep a half-metre or larger diameter circle beneath the tree free of any other plants.  Acanthus spreads and can overwhelm the roots of more delicate plants such as your acer and I think that is probably the culprit.  Scratch some bark off near the top of a dead-looking stem with your thumbnail.  If it is green underneath then there is some hope but if brown then keep moving down the branch and trying again.  If there is no green under the bark then cut those parts right back to where you found green and just above a bud or twig.  Acers are prone to dieback like this and often there is no obvious cause.  However, if you do cut it back, have a look at the colour of the cut wood inside.  If it has any patches of dark staining then it could be Verticillium wilt.  I have my fingers crossed that it recovers for you. :)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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