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What shall I do with this tree

Dear Gardeners, as I know nothing about gardening I wanted to ask your advice - what do you think I should do with this poor tree? I don’t like the look of it, but I’m not sure if I should plant it else where in my garden, or get rid of it entirely? And what would look best in its place instead? Position; front door garden, always in the shade 


  • madpenguinmadpenguin Posts: 2,523
    It is an Acer and doesn't actually look too bad.
    Acers respond very well to pruning. It is best to prune when the tree is dormant, so December to February would be best. Make sure to prune back to a bud – this means cutting just above the bud. If you leave any excess wood above the bud, the dieback could become diseased.
    For now I would just prune out all the dead wood and give it a feed.
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • Thank you so much! And if I do decide to get rid of it what do you think would work well there? It’s front of door so I’d love for it to look pretty. But the spit is always shade 
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,925
    Do you want another tree, or would a shrub be okay ? You could also plant bulbs in autumn for colour next Spring. 
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,636
    Japanese maples do well in shade and that one would respond to some TLC I think.  Give it a good drink of a couple of bucketsful of water and then give it a generous handful of pelleted chicken manure which will give it slow release fertiliser over the growing season. 

    Its shape is fine so I wouldn't prune at all but you should remove dry, dead twiggy bits using clean, sharp secateurs.   

    If you like, you can then cover the soil with a mulch of something like chipped bark, chipped slate or gravel - whichever looks best with your house front and paving.  That would keep down weeds and help retain moisture. 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • lilysillylilysilly Posts: 511
    Hi @ariadna.bakhmatova, I really like your tree. It is growing ok in a tricky spot and is doing a good job in disguising the porch overhang and plain wall. It does need those dead bare branch tips trimmed off. 
    How long has that bit of wood been propping it up? If you remove that does the tree branch stay in place now? Perhaps replacing that with a proper tree stake would be possible. 
    I personally would remove the muscari bulbs and then feed the soil with fish, blood and bone and a bit of compost if you have some. I would add a few evergreen perennials with complimentary foliage e.g. heuchera lime marmalade or heucherella solar power. 
    You could even put a nice big pot or planter on the corner and plant different things for the time of year. Fushias would do well in the shade for the summer, little daffodils and pansies for the spring.
    If you really want it gone, I don't know if it would transplant successfully to a new location, it's the wrong time of year now anyway and would have to be done when it's dormant .
    I am struggling to think of anything that would look good there , but hopefully someone with more experience of shade suitable shrubs will answer you.
    How much space for planting do have where that woody old lavender is? I would remove that and perhaps plant something along there to give you a nice approach to your door. Hellebore plants have lovely winter and spring flowers and attractive evergreen leaves that look good all year. 😃
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Posts: 2,523
    I would definitely keep the tree as it is already there and in the right place for it.
    Just needs a bit of TLC!
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • lilysillylilysilly Posts: 511
    I agree @madpenguin, I think it's lovely and would keep it too. 
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,925
    Me three !
  • Obelixx said:
    Japanese maples do well in shade and that one would respond to some TLC I think.  
    i've got rid of the old lavender and now i have this spot front of house, it's always in shade.. what do you think i could plant here to cover the ugly looking wall?

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