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I have already lost one acer during the past couple of months, probably foolishly thinking this was due to repotting it. The leaves died back starting at the tip of each branch and then fell off. Eventually the whole tree was affected. The same thing has now started on the Palmatum Bloodgood. I have sprayed with both bug clear and fungus clear during the past month but to no avail. I have noticed on the dead acer which is still in pot but removed to another part of the garden, tiny fluffy loose cotton wool areas all over the tree. Looking carefully at my dying acer, also in a pot, I can see similar strands of cotton wool in one or two places and also on a nearby standard fuschia. I have looked carefully but cannot find any signs of insect. Where the branch has been damaged the wood itself has whitened in places. Help!
Does it look anything like mealy bug? There's some information in the pest section on this site. A former colleague of mine used to use medical alcohol on mealy bug. I used vodka (applied with a small paint brush/ cotton bud) to get rid of it from an acer once before. Cheap vodka is as good as the stuff you might like to drink if so!
Thanks for your quick response. Further investigation yesterday revealed tiny spiders. I'm wondering if these could be spider mites although research on pc to find picture suggests they are wrong colour and slightly bigger. The areas of cotton wool are in fact tiny spider webs. Also my research into spider mites don't really suggest an attack would kill off an acer, yet alone two, so quickly. Although it must be an infestation of some sort to spread from one acer to another?