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3 bits of advice needed...

Hi all,

1)  on a young 'Spartan' apple tree planted a year ago or so, I recently noticed some winged grey-coloured insects with short bodies clustered on some of the leaves (a little bigger than aphids, not sure if these are aphids or not) - could anyway advise what they might be?  I'd sprayed them around October time but of course the leaves are now no more;

2)  I lost an Acer 'Osakazuki' to what I believe was verticillium wilt in the baking summer of 2 years ago.  A lovely tree that was barely in the ground 2 years and a disappointing loss.   It was in an east-facing spot and prone to scorching from wind, the sun obviously finished it off good and proper.   It was an expensive tree but not one that I thought would be ever lost to scorch.     I plan to purchase another for a container this time that can be put in part-shade, though I may well go for a purple-leaved form this time for added colour interest.    Just wondered if anyone knew of such things happening to the Osakazuki or whether there are any Acer palmatum cultivars that can bear full sun;

3)   I purchased a blackberry recently - it has 3 tiny, thin canes that were bunched together with the usual garden centre plastic tape/stapled to a green cane.    I've since tied it with natural twine in a similar manner to a taller bamboo cane.    Some folk talk of a 'square' of canes but that wouldn't work in my case since the canes are so thin/young.     What is the correct way to support a blackberry in a container once it starts to grow?   Should all stems simply be bunched to this central bamboo?

Thanks all.
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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 23,540
    1) No idea sorry but I would always first identify a possible pest before resorting to a spray as it might not be a pest or could be a food source for beneficial predator insects such as hoverflies and ladybirds and birds too.

    2) All Japanese maples are prone to scorching from either sun or wind or a combo.  Their leaves are quite thin and the dissected forms even more prone so make sure your new plant has adequate shelter and also enough moisture to keep the foliage hydrated but not drown the roots.

    3) Blackerry canes need to be spread out in a fan shape so each one gets full sun to ripen the fruits.  Tying all 3 to one central cane will not be productive.  In addition, they fruit on the previous season's new wood whilst growing the next season's so I always tie the new ones loosely to a central support as they emerge leaving the fanned ones plainly separate.  After harvesting, cut out the old fruited stems and spread out the new ones.  Continue the cycle each autumn.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 6,311
    Re your 2nd question.
    I suspect your acer was weakened by drought and then maybe verticillum took advantage.
    I planted a small acer palmatum disectum 30 ish years ago in my front garden in full sun and it's been very happy there.
    I thought I'd lost an acer Katsura to drought and what I also suspect was verticillum wilt a couple of years ago. It was looking very poorly with black rings on cut branches and loss of new leaves. But over the last year (which has been significantly wetter) it seems to be recovering.

    My acer palmatum last autumn in all its glory -

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Obelixx said:
    1) No idea sorry but I would always first identify a possible pest before resorting to a spray as it might not be a pest or could be a food source for beneficial predator insects such as hoverflies and ladybirds and birds too.

    2) All Japanese maples are prone to scorching from either sun or wind or a combo.  Their leaves are quite thin and the dissected forms even more prone so make sure your new plant has adequate shelter and also enough moisture to keep the foliage hydrated but not drown the roots.

    3) Blackerry canes need to be spread out in a fan shape so each one gets full sun to ripen the fruits.  Tying all 3 to one central cane will not be productive.  In addition, they fruit on the previous season's new wood whilst growing the next season's so I always tie the new ones loosely to a central support as they emerge leaving the fanned ones plainly separate.  After harvesting, cut out the old fruited stems and spread out the new ones.  Continue the cycle each autumn.
    I don't think your suggestion for the blackberry is practical in my case - as stated in the OP, the new plant is in a container so cannot be fan-trained as such.

    I suppose I could insert 3 pea sticks in a triangle and tie each of the current canes (again they are barely 30cm in length and very thin) to those, which as you say tie the new ones to the central bamboo as they emerge (bunched)?

    Pete - very nice Acer there.
  • Rik56 said:
    1) Lacewing? maybe... don't kill, they're good guys - they eat aphids.

    2) Don't miscount vine weevil - I beginning to think Acer roots are something they quite like - I've lost one to the b+ggers too.. most annoying.
    No, definitely not lacewing.   Again a small winged grub, roundish, grey in colour, bigger than your average aphid.

    I doubt it was vine weevil re: the Acer  - there was dieback etc and the whole thing smacked of verticillium if i'm honest given the scorching temperatures that year.


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 23,540
    You can buy trellis and other supports in narrow, fan shapes for sticking in pots or you can make one but it needs supporting.  If you want decent fruits you're going to have to separate the older stems to get sun and air and enable you to cut them out easily after fruiting.   

    If you can't put it in the ground, make sure it's in a decent sized pot too or it will go hungry and thirsty and that will affect fruiting.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,520
    Acers will cope with sun if they also have sufficient moisture, especially at critical times of year when foliage is forming. It's a bit like Camellias/Rhodies etc, when they need late summer moisture for bud formation.

    They do best with some shade from the hottest part of the day, and shelter from the wind. Some varieties will cope better than others too.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 465
    edited December 2019
    Pete.8 said:
    Re your 2nd question.
    I suspect your acer was weakened by drought and then maybe verticillum took advantage.
    I planted a small acer palmatum disectum 30 ish years ago in my front garden in full sun and it's been very happy there.
    I thought I'd lost an acer Katsura to drought and what I also suspect was verticillum wilt a couple of years ago. It was looking very poorly with black rings on cut branches and loss of new leaves. But over the last year (which has been significantly wetter) it seems to be recovering.

    My acer palmatum last autumn in all its glory -

    What a spectacular specimen!  I just love these trees!

    My low-carb recipe site:www.buttoni.wordpress.com
  • Obelixx said:
    You can buy trellis and other supports in narrow, fan shapes for sticking in pots or you can make one but it needs supporting.  If you want decent fruits you're going to have to separate the older stems to get sun and air and enable you to cut them out easily after fruiting.   

    If you can't put it in the ground, make sure it's in a decent sized pot too or it will go hungry and thirsty and that will affect fruiting.
    I'll look into something that could support them.    Not sure how the fan thing would work really if there'll also be new stems thrown up too which I'm guessing will be more vigorous than the old?      The 3 stems currently there are barely a foot tall, and very thin too.    Again I could put pea sticks in a triangle shape and tie each one to those initially but will those stems no longer grow vegetatively, will they now remain at a foot and grow purely flower buds instead?
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 6,311
    Thanks Peggy
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 23,540
    When a blackberry is healthy and happy it throws out stems that can get to 2 or 3 metres long in a season!!   They will need support to stop them flying around in the breeze and breaking.   Yours that are just a foot or so high are either a baby or starving.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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