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Acer palmatum - new young tree not leafing out/dying?

Discussion in 'Trees' started by Charlotte Wilson, May 19, 2021.

  1. Charlotte Wilson

    Charlotte Wilson Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi All, I'm new to the forum but was recommended that I join as I'm in need of some advice about my Acer.

    So I purchased from a nursery at the start of April an Acer Palmatum Dissectum Firecracker. It arrived well packaged and appeared healthy. I planted it straight away in a stone pot using tree and shrub compost, I also added crocks to the bottom of the pot and the pot is raised off the ground. With the last few frosts we had I did wrap the pot in bubble wrap as well to protect it.

    My worry is that although there are new branches growing, it's not leafing out. Some of the buds are dry, some are now going black and Ive come home tonight and it looks like some of the more mature branches are now going brown/dying.

    I'm so gutted as the tree was purchased in memory of my friend that passed away and the area of garden that it sits within was created especially for the tree and what it symbolises. I'm at a loss as to what I can do, as I'm new to Acers m just hoping I won't lose the tree. Any advice would be so greatly received. I've added some pictures to hopefully help.Thank you
     

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    • CanadianLori

      CanadianLori Total Gardener

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      Welcome to the forum! I'm not an acer person but there are many here and I'm sure someone will be along shortly to help!
       
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      • noisette47

        noisette47 Total Gardener

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        Hello Charlotte, welcome to GC. :) As long as the stems are orange, and not brown, black or grey, there's hope! First thoughts on seeing the pot are: Is it reconstituted concrete? That, together with planting in non-ericaceous compost might be a problem. Acers like acid soil, so best to pot in plastic, terracotta or a glazed pot, but not something that might leach lime into an already-neutral compost. If you can find a compost that is suitable for Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Camellias and Heathers, that would be ideal. Failing all that, give it a dose of sequestrene.
        It could be that the buds got frosted, in which case the tree will produce a second set of buds and then leaves. Should you be in an area where you might still get frost or icy winds, it would be worth wrapping the tree in fleece until it warms up.
         
      • Charlotte Wilson

        Charlotte Wilson Apprentice Gardener

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        Hi noisette47, Thanks so much for your reply. The pot is a rustic glazed ceramic I probably used the term stone incorrectly. Thank you for the tip on Sequestrene I'll get some ordered as well. I'm based in Oxfordshire so we are pretty much done with frosts but the weather is so up and down and a lot cooler than it should be for May.
        It feels like April showers has dropped back a month and I'm wondering if that is causing the tree problems. The stems are pretty healthy and orange still apart from a couple of them that are going a light brown and are dry and brittle in the middle of a healthy stem. Should I prune those stems out or just leave it be and see what happens? Thanks again.
         
      • Charlotte Wilson

        Charlotte Wilson Apprentice Gardener

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        Thank you
         
      • noisette47

        noisette47 Total Gardener

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        Hello Charlotte, that's good news about the pot! Not such good news about the stems dying off in the middle, as cold/wind damage is more likely to affect the tips. Could be a bacterial infection, more pronounced in wet springs. I think it is best to cut back to below the dead bits, to just above healthy buds if possible. It might also be worth giving it a spray with a copper-based fungicide such as: Amazon.co.uk:Customer reviews: Vitax Copper Mixture 175g
        Try to keep the compost just damp, but not soaking. The other big enemy of Acers is phythophthora root rot and the only way to check for that is to take it out of it's pot and look at the state of the roots. But one thing at a time....:)
         
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        • Spruce

          Spruce Glad to be back .....

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          Hi Welcome to the forum ..

          Please dont say you bought from Gardening Express ?

          was it bare root or in a pot ....

          has any leaves appeared yet, if not its dead

          I would definitely say this is not your doing I would send your photos to where you bought it and ask for a replacement or your ££ back

          I grow lots of acers ..... I have two which i have had for over 30 years and moved house 5 times with me ....

          Spruce
           
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          • Kristen

            Kristen Under gardener

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            Japanese Acers ... Barthelemy & Co, superb quality. Just don't expect too much in terms of website purchase ... or delivery for that matter (not sure on that point, but they told me "They get wrecked by couriers so we don't send them out" or something like that).

            The husband and wife team pot up 25,000 seedlings a year - seed scattered on beds in their polytunnels

            [​IMG]

            ... and then spend the rest of the year grafting them

            [​IMG]

            [​IMG]

            Small plants, on the bench, were about a £tenner

            [​IMG]

            [​IMG]
            My Haul :)

            Home | Japanese Maples and Acers (Acer Palmatum) Nursery | Barthelemy & Co

            They are down in Dorset, near Poole. If you are going well worth a visit to Compton Acres. Amongst other interest there is a Japanese Garden - which will look fabulous just about now with Azaleas

            [​IMG]
            Compton Acres Japanese Garden

            [​IMG]
             
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              Last edited: May 20, 2021
            • pete

              pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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              I think the scratch test is in order to check which wood is still alive.
              That way you can trace the die back on the branches and definitely a small test at ground level incase its dying upwards.
               
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              • Charlotte Wilson

                Charlotte Wilson Apprentice Gardener

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                Hi @Spruce, oh goodness, yes I did . It came in a pot rather than bare root. I'm guessing that was probably my first mistake. Have you had a bad experience with them before?
                 
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                • Charlotte Wilson

                  Charlotte Wilson Apprentice Gardener

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                  Thank you so much everyone for replying and helping me. I really appreciate it.

                  I did the scratch test tonight on every branch and the main stem...and not a hint of healthy green flesh in site. Its all dry and light brown. So I'm taking that as its completely dead! I've only had it 6 weeks, I did get it from Gardening Express, I'm not sure after 6 weeks how likely I'll get a refund as it wasn't cheap at £120 but I can only assume it came to me dying rather than something I've done to have killed it. I'm so very sad about it.
                  Sadly Poole is a little too far for me to go at present, does anyone have any other recommendations on where I can get a healthy replacement? as I'm not really sure if I want a replacement from Gardening Express if they offered it. I'm guessing I'm going to have a bit of battle with them after 6weeks.
                   
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                  • pete

                    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                    After 6 weeks is nothing, it was bound to be dead or dying when you bought it.
                    You have a right to your money back.
                     
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                    • Kristen

                      Kristen Under gardener

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                      If you fancy getting from them I think worthwhile giving them a ring and seeing what they could do about delivery. Its a few years since I had that conversation with them ... they are very friendly folk, and it is also possible that they sell plants to a nursery near you, so you would then at least know you were getting good stock if you bought from that nursery.
                       
                    • Spruce

                      Spruce Glad to be back .....

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                      ooohhh so many times on here over the years people buying from that awful company how they are still in business it is beyond me, I just had that feeling reading your post who it was you bought from ... yes they sent me two shrubs just in the pot nothing else !!! no packaging....

                      whether the plant was a £ 1.00 or £120 ask for your money back or if they say no, a picture of the plant they are sending you.... its a total disgrace and to think "in memory of my friend that passed away" ...


                      this is what they say;

                      Our Guarantee to you
                      You'll love your plants! If for whatever reason you are not totally happy with your plants please return them within 14 days for a full refund. - It's as simple as that.

                      But I would point out it wasn't in growth when you bought it to know it was alive or dead !!

                      5 Year Guarantee
                      If any plants should fail to establish within 5 years we will replace them free of charge, provided they have been looked after correctly.


                      Charlotte keep us updated mention in the email/letter your on social media and you are telling all what the outcome is .....

                      Spruce
                       
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