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Acer Tree Issues

TbexWWTbexWW LondonPosts: 4
Hi all, 
I've noticed some changed to an acer  Ipurchased a few months ago. Pot planted in a shallow pot with its root base close to the top. Its not in a particularly sunny spot but does get a little sun in late afternoon. The soil used is a well draining soil with a sharp sand base. I was at first wondering if it was Scorch leaves as at the top some of the leaves are crinkled, brown and curling. But I noticed the shape of the leaves was changing?!?! How bizarre, could anybody help? Please see pictures attached. You can see the original shape at the base of the plant and the zoomed in picture shows the new leaves. 

Thank You!

Posts

  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,302
    I wonder if it's some spider mite activity...have a good look under the leaves. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • TbexWWTbexWW LondonPosts: 4
    I wonder if it's some spider mite activity...have a good look under the leaves. 
    Thank you for this idea, I've had a good look and can't see anything under the leaves, no signs of any bugs. 
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,302
    They're really tiny...most obvious is the appearance of miniscule webs. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • TbexWWTbexWW LondonPosts: 4
    They're really tiny...most obvious is the appearance of miniscule webs. 
    There are a few small webs on the tree, I associated them with just normal spiders!! Do you think normal pesticides would be safe on the Acer leaves?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,620
    The presence of spider mites indicates the tree is too dry.  I suggest you increase watering and also spray the foliage with water every day to moisten it.  Acer leaves are very fine and prone to dry out in a sunny or windy spot but can cope if adequately watered.

    I don't like the look of your compost in that pot and would suggest you re-pot in good quality John Innes no3 type compost which is loam based and mix in with some multi-purpose compost for moisture retention.  Do this in autumn after leaf drop so there's less stress and the acer will have all winter to develop its root system.

    Pot size looks OK for now but it would be happier in the ground if you can.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • TbexWWTbexWW LondonPosts: 4
    Obelixx said:
    The presence of spider mites indicates the tree is too dry.  I suggest you increase watering and also spray the foliage with water every day to moisten it.  Acer leaves are very fine and prone to dry out in a sunny or windy spot but can cope if adequately watered.

    I don't like the look of your compost in that pot and would suggest you re-pot in good quality John Innes no3 type compost which is loam based and mix in with some multi-purpose compost for moisture retention.  Do this in autumn after leaf drop so there's less stress and the acer will have all winter to develop its root system.

    Pot size looks OK for now but it would be happier in the ground if you can.
    I must admit having moved it to a spot with more shade today, the soil feels waterlogged, I've been watering every night and I think maybe a bit too much. I did repot it about 4 weeks ago, I had no idea it was better to wait!! Maybe I did this then, I didn't realise the best practice was to wait until autumn!

    When I re-potted it I used ericaceous compost which said it was good for Acers after desperately trying to find John Innes. Since Covid-19 none of my garden centres have any John Innes in stock! Before that when I bought it I had potted it using multi purpose compost from my local garden centre. 

    I'm really appreciating all this help, shock horror I'm really new to gardening and struggling finding information online! 
  • dappledshadedappledshade Top of the Hill, North London Posts: 926
    edited August 2020
    Agree with Obelixx, your compost does look after dry (always a risk with potted acres, they do like it free draining but damp.)

    If the tree is stressed, it is more likely to be prone to pest attack.

    Worth knowing that green acers, like yours, like dappled shade, rather than bright sunlight. It’s the purple leaves varieties that need sun, to bring out their colour.

    I had a green leaved one in the ground, with some afternoon sun and it went crispy on the edge of the leaves.

    I would also say that acer tend to do better in the ground , if that’s an option for you, and they like protection from strong winds. 
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