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Acer Palmatum advice

BirdHerdLissBirdHerdLiss North East EnglandPosts: 7
Hi everyone, I’m fairly new to gardening and last year in autumn I was gifted a small Acer Palmatum, so I was wondering if I could get a little advice on some things please?

First thing is, it gets quite cold where I am, North East England, and in the coming days it is forecast snow, do I need to cover the Acer to protect it from the snow and cold especially with it growing its new leaves?

And secondly, I’ll add photos below, some of the branches have white/grey ends on them and the bottom of the trunk looks like the bark has been damaged, is was like this when I got it, is there something wrong with it and do I need to do something to help it out?

Thanks in advance!


  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,101
    The white parts are dead - you can snip them off if you don't like how they look, but leave a little bit. Acers can bleed sap if cut back into live wood when they're not dormant, and yours is growing new leaves so it's definitely not dormant.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,245
    I'd move all those stones away from the main trunk, and give it a little space to prevent damage from them. Is the damage below the graft point, and has it been caused by those slates?  There seems to be several stems or something there - are those canes ? A wider view would be helpful  :)

    Those dissectums can get a bit decimated with wind more than anything else, or fried in sun, because of their feathery foliage, so keep it somewhere sheltered for now, and that should be enough. Under a seat or table would do. Snow doesn't affect them. It's only a problem if there's soft new-ish branches, and you get a foot of it   ;)
    They can get a bit of damage from ice and frost when there's soft new growth, but they come from a very cold part of the world, so it's only a problem when they've been in warm conditions, then cold - as with any plant that has soft new growth. Even then, they produce new foliage later.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Balgay.HillBalgay.Hill Posts: 626
    I would move those rocks away from the trunk, as they might be causing the damage as the tree moves in the wind.
    Sunny Dundee
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,245
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Balgay.HillBalgay.Hill Posts: 626
    Fairygirl said:
    Maybe they are only pebbles and the trunk is 5mm dia? :D
    Sunny Dundee
  • BirdHerdLissBirdHerdLiss North East EnglandPosts: 7
    @JennyJ @Fairygirl @Balgay.Hill 

    Thank you so much for the advice!

    As soon as I get home I will remove the slates, I had them on as advice from a local garden centre was to put them on and it helps keep moisture and warmth in during winter. The damage was there before I put the rocks on but they definitely may have damaged it more.
    The 2 canes were there when I got it, also was advised to keep them there for support while it was young.

    Sorry I don’t have a wider angled photo at the moment.

    I will get it moved under my garden table for some extra shelter.

    Really appreciate your replies 😃
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,245
    It looks like those slate chippings, and I'm guessing it's a pretty immature plant @Balgay.Hill, but we'd need some better photos from @BirdHerdLiss to be sure.

    I'm still confused about the other 'stems' or canes in the photo  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,101
    edited 29 March
    I think the two "canes" on either side of the damaged acer stem/trunk are those green-dyed sticks that plants sometimes come fastened to. I think I see hints of the original green colour near the bottom. If they were attached with those plastic ties that are often used, and the ties had been on too long, that could have contributed to the bark damage.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,245
    Ah - you were answering at the same time as I posted @BirdHerdLiss:)
    Gravel or similar is fine as a top dressing, although pretty redundant in winter as moisture retention isn't generally a problem. Other than putting some protection round the pot itself [ to prevent freezing after rain or sleet etc ]  if you're in a very, very cold part of the country, they don't need warmth as such. I shove mine against the wall, or in among shrubs, in bad winters. A layer of gravel wouldn't help that anyway - they're far more useful in dry, hot and/or windy weather to help prevent dehydration   :)

    I think you might be right re those canes and ties @JennyJ
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,500
    We have 4 different acers (in pots) and with the cold weather we have given them some fleece covering for the next few days as they where all getting into great foliage and we didn't want to risk them being attacked.
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