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Acer Palmatum Atropurpureum. Should I prune?

I bought this Acer last year and it's grown quite a lot since then but as you can see, it's just grown as a single stem with no branches. Is this normal or should I prune the top to encourage side growth? It's currently about 2.5 ft tall.

Thanks in advance.


Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,553
    I think you need to release it from that cane and let it bend over.  That will encourage side shoots to form where you already have leaves budding.  I think you also need to weed that pot and give the plant a good feed. 

    Better still, water it thoroughly then plant it up on a larger pot with fresh, John Innes no 3 type compost and make sure it does not go thirsty all spring and summer.   Keep it in a sheltered spot out of the wind which will dessicate its leaves.

    If it hasn't produced side shoots in a couple of months then try pinching out the tip of the stem just above a good pair of leaves.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks Obelixx,
    I was in two minds whether to put it in a bigger pot as the one it's in is a bigger one I planted it into when I got it last year. I tied it to that cane as soon as I had it because it came as that single stem and didn't realise letting it bend was the best thing to do. I'll do all you've suggested and hopefully that will sort it.

    I have a different Acer the other side of that greenhouse door which is branching out nicely but that one was already when I bought it.

    Thanks again, Obelixx.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,553
    Hope it works.  Let us know how you get on.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336
    Agree with previous advice but I would nip the top out now to get the 'branching hormones' up and running.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thanks Bob, I'll give it a shot and see what happens.
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