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Acer advice please

Morning all. I have recently had a hideous laurel removed which has created a sheltered area with dappled shade. So I thought I would treat myself to an acer. However, I have over-googled and am feeling overwhelmed. There are just so many to choose from, and the whole issue of palmatum versus japonica etc.

I think I want something with a maximum height of 8-10 feet, and upright (I don't think I have room for a weeping form, unfortunately). So can anyone help?
  • Suggestions/recommendations for varieties
  • Suggestions/recommendations for online sources


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,817
    They're slow growing [mostly] so anything will probably take a while to reach 8 feet, unless you buy a mature specimen. 
    The bog standard dark palmatums are easy. The dissectums are nicer than the standard palmatums IMO. Readily available in many places.
    There are plenty of good outlets, but be aware that many places are low on stock.
    I have Orangeola in this garden [potted just now] , but it's weeping form so may not suit you.

    Jackson's Nursery is a good supplier.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • I don't know many gardeners who haven't been seduced by Acers are some point.  Personally, we have found them very difficult to grow successfully in the long term.  We have lost 6 over the past 15 years.  They either looked terrible (from leaf burn), or partially died and became very badly misshaped.  I always try to steer people away from them, and to find alternatives (I'd go for an Amelanchier if I could plant another tree).  

    If you are determined to still get one, I can suggest Bloodgood (one of the more popular, vigorous and reliable of the dark-leaved varieties), or Sango Kaku if you want a green-leaved variety.  We have grown both.

    For the best success, site them well away from sun, wind, and frost.  Avoid root disturbance from other plants.  Use ericaceous soil for the planting site, and mulch with the same sort of soil every year.  Keep well watered during dry periods, as they prefer more moist soil.  A liquid ericaceous feed during the growing season will also help.
  • Ysera27Ysera27 Posts: 41
    edited September 2021
    What is the aspect of where you want to place the Acer? Is it sunny or windy? Acers don't do well in those situation's and get wind or sun damage.

    If the site is right then I would suggest the following

    Up to 4m eventually

    The article is from gardeners world so must be a good source  ;)
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,290
    I have several acers and they seem do well here on my slightly acidic clay soil.
    The one that has done best for me is A palmatum dissectum 
    It faces south so gets full sun and has not suffered any problems since planting it over 30 years ago

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Thanks all. Yes @KeenOnGreen seduced is a good word, especially when I see photos like @Pete.8 's tree. I know they can be temperamental but the spot is sheltered and shaded quite a lot, so I'm going to give it a go, without too many expectations. If not now, when? I will certainly take on board the cultivation tips, thanks.

    I like your `slow growing` point @Fairygirl - I can choose the one I like, and it will be someone else's problem after I've popped my clogs!  :)
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