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Acer Help Please

Hi, I bought an Acer Palmatum Taylor just over a month ago. It is in a pot in compost advised; ericacious and John Innes. There's a hole in the bottom of the pot and crocks for drainage. I was was watering small amounts regularly. Its in a semi shade position. After a few weeks the leaves had a whitish film over them. They then started discolouring and shrivelling. In the heavy rain a couple of days they mostly fell off and I have a whitish film over the bark. It didn't look to me like powdery mildew as the underside of the leaves weren't particularly affected. I don't know what to do with it. Is there any hope for it coming back next year please?  Thanks


  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 571
    edited July 2019
    If you bought from a reputable garden centre or nursery I would take it back. Acers aren't cheap and if you have only had it a month, the struggle you might have to keep it going is unreasonable. It's bad enough having to diagnose and treat plants which you have had for years. And I'm the person who has resurrected an Acer palmatum four times. You seem to have done all the right things although I water really well then allow to dry out a bit. A good drenching is usually better than drip feeding. 
  • KitBMillerKitBMiller Posts: 33
    I did give it a good drench to begin with when i got it, but eased off after that to prevent waterlogging.  I don't have the receipt for it though. I never though to keep it. It did come from a reputable garden centre. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,135
    The watering regime won't have helped. They need thorough watering when in a pot, and it's very easy for them to get dried out at this time of year, or in any dry or windy spell, and then very difficult to get them rehydrated properly. 
    I'd keep it in a much shadier spot through summer too, if you're in a dry part of the country.
    Have you a photo of the whole plant and the pot it's in?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • KitBMillerKitBMiller Posts: 33

    Its in a pot a bit bigger than the one it came in.  I read the link Kate sent and I'm beginning to wonder if a pot wasnt a good idea but I wanted to be able to see it from the patio doors. 
  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 571
    All of my acers are in pots.  Only one has ever been in the soil and that one proved to be in a sump which filled with water at least 6 cm up the trunk during  the winter. It survived and is now in the UK having been in south west France where it is very hot and dry in summer.  Your pot looks fine. If it is glazed terracotta, it will be less likely to suffer from moisture passing through the pot. If you can't take it back, I'd try giving it a spray with some fungicide, put it in shady spot and keep the soil moist. Perhaps putting a layer of fine bark on top of the compost might help to conserve moisture. If the problem is mildew or something similar, you might replace any bark and the top layer of soil as spores might be present, before winter. There is a thread titled Japanese Acer dying where I have posted pictures and comments. I'm newish here and don't know how to give you a web address for it but try using the search box. I've also been out to have a look at my 3 acers. Some of the older branches are a bit silvery but they aren't sick. They have just gone like it and are quite healthy.  Check yours to see if the white areas are powdery.  If they aren't it isn't mildew. In that case, don't bother with fungicide although it won't do damage. With a bit of luck and some TLC you should be able to nurse your Acer back to life. Cool, shady place, careful watering and a bit of luck is probably the best you can do. It might grow some new leaves this year, but you might have to wait and see what happens next spring. I hope that this isn't too confusing and gives you some hope for your tree.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,837
    I too have Acers in pots & in the ground. They have very fine root systems & often struggle in the first year if they are moved or re-potted unless done very carefully. Acers in pots need very regular watering, even those in the open ground need water every week if there is no rain. 
    AB Still learning

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