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When/where to plant Acer Firecracker

RubiksRubiks Posts: 22
Hi all,

I've recently purchased an Acer Firecracker which arrived a bit later than planned. I'd hoped to have it in before winter but I think that ship has sailed, so I was wondering what you think the best step is to take next?

From the soil to the top it is roughly 100cm tall, and is just bare branches now. Its currently sat in a South East facing conservatory (unheated) in its original pot and wrapping. Should I leave it where it is, in its original pot? Or should I try and plant it this weekend?

Second question is WHERE to plant it. I keep seeing conflicting things online about the aspect, so I have two options: in the back garden, where the aspect is south east. Or next to the house at the front, which is north west (see picture attached). If in the front, I'm planning to place it along the fence and rip out the existing bushes we inherited, we moved in a couple of months ago.

Thanks in advance! 


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  • RubiksRubiks Posts: 22
    no idea why the picture is rotated, sorry!
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 7,747
    So long the the soil isn't frozen it'll be better in the ground and keep it outside in the interim - it won't appreciate being kept artificially warm in the conservatory (even if it's not heated) and there's no need. It needs to be in the cold to shut down properly in readiness for winter.
    The best place to plant it would be where it gets some sun, but ideally not too much (especially around midday).
    Wind burn can also be a problem, so whichever site you have in mind that isn't too windy and not too sunny.
    So long as your soil in neutral or slightly acidic it should be happy.
    Don't add any feed to the planting hole (which should be square and not round) to encourage to roots to get out and find food for itself and produce a strong root system.

    It the site that re-orients photos sideways - not you :) it's been happening for a long time now.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 3,335
    Sorted.


    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • RubiksRubiks Posts: 22
    Pete.8 said:
    So long the the soil isn't frozen it'll be better in the ground and keep it outside in the interim - it won't appreciate being kept artificially warm in the conservatory (even if it's not heated) and there's no need. It needs to be in the cold to shut down properly in readiness for winter.
    The best place to plant it would be where it gets some sun, but ideally not too much (especially around midday).
    Wind burn can also be a problem, so whichever site you have in mind that isn't too windy and not too sunny.
    So long as your soil in neutral or slightly acidic it should be happy.
    Don't add any feed to the planting hole (which should be square and not round) to encourage to roots to get out and find food for itself and produce a strong root system.

    It the site that re-orients photos sideways - not you :) it's been happening for a long time now.
    Thank you! I'll plant it this weekend, in that case!  I think i'm going to go with the front, along the fence in the picture.  Once it's grown up to a decent size I want to put it in the middle of that grass, not sure yet as there's a manhole cover near the boundary, so I don't want to risk causing any problems!
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 7,747
    I'd suggest planting it in the middle of the grass this weekend when you plant it.
    They're very fickle about being moved once established.
    I did move one after it had been planted for a year or so and that was fine, but it can take several years for them to get to a decent size and it won't like being moved then.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 41,345
    The shadier aspect is a better choice. They need moisture but also good drainage.
    It certainly needs to be outside, but if you've had it in there for a while, give it a few hours outside for a few days before planting, but unless you're in an area that has no frost forecast for the next few days, hold off with planting it. Too big a shock, and it won't appreciate going into ground that then freezes. Tuck it somewhere sheltered until then if that's the case.
    It'll depend whereabouts you are, but if you're anywhere further north than the north of England , the weather is to be pretty wild over the weekend too, so that isn't ideal planting weather either. 
    I'd agree with @Pete.8 too- it's better to have the right site for it, rather than having to move it at a later date.
    Alternatively, you can keep it potted, if you get a nice pot for it, and a suitable growing medium. They make very good pot specimens  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • RubiksRubiks Posts: 22
    Thanks for the advice, both of you.  I'm in Liverpool, which is supposed to be getting fairly warm weather next week so that should be ok.  I will plant it in the place I'm planning for it to end up, I just need to make sure I train it properly into a tree! Otherwise it might look a bit odd :)
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 7,747
    One of the great things about acers is that they need no pruning - they will take on their natural form if left alone.
    Any essential pruning should only be done in the dead of winter as they bleed at any other time.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 41,345
    Absolutely.
    As @Pete.8 says, let it grow in it's natural shape. They often have branches which grow quicker than others, so don't be hasty re  any pruning, other than removing anything dead.  :)
    It is possible to shape them a bit, but you have to be very careful with it. It's easy for them to look pretty dreadful. Nothing worse than those 'puddings' that people prune them into, the way you would do a topiary specimen. They just aren't designed to be treated like that. Ruins them.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • RubiksRubiks Posts: 22
    Ok I'll keep that in mind. I'm new to growing these (which I think is obvious), but if i wanted to train it into a tree rather than a shrub, what's the best way of doing that? It came with a stick that it's currently attached to, so do i just plant that in with it, then let it do its thing? Or will not pruning the bottom branches encourage a shrub?  I always thought if I cut the lower branches then it would encourage upright growth.

    If you have any articles about training them into trees I'd be really grateful for them, I can't find a straight answer anywhere on the internet!
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