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Acer Problem

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Question from Karren Towgood


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planted an acer sango kaku at the begining of April. Initially it did well, but in the last month has started developing problems. I first noticed that the leaves on some of the branches were turning brown and dying. When I inspected the tree there were black marks on the bark like it had been scorched. These are flat marks, and don't appear to be a fungus. After a few days these marks turn lighter brown, as can be seen in the pictures. All the brances that arise out of this dark area appear to die. I did wonder about water logging, but that doesn't appear to be a problem. We also had a problem with some tiny red spider insects which I have sprayed with provado. Any suggestions as to what the problem is and any solutions would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to lose the tree!

Acer Problem (09/06/2010)

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  • Views: 736
  • Replies: 3
  • Posted: Wed. 9th June 2010 12:45

Re: Acer Problem

Reply from Karen Potter

Hi Karren

My Acer palmatum is growing in a large container with lots of drainage, and I thought it had died a few years ago. Condition was similar to your photo. When I went to the nursery to buy another I explained the problem and was told it was due to overwatering. Gave mine one more chance, by cutting off all the dead bits (practially just left a stump), and I am pleased to say it is now a beautiful tree (as is the new one I bought). I only occasionaly water thought !!


Karen Potter

  • Posted: Wed. 16th June 2010 12:58

Re: Re: Acer Problem

Reply from Karren Towgood

Thanks Karen, that is very helpful to know. I did wonder if it perhaps was under watering or over watering. Hopefully ours will survive also! At the moment it isn't getting any worse and we do have the occassional new leaf still opening. The question now is when is the best time to cut it back?


  • Posted: Thu. 17th June 2010 07:14

Re: Acer Problem

Reply from Mark Gregory

Acers can be difficult to get established, and water either too much or not enough can be an issue.the tree was on a measured daily dosage and now it is not.possibly it is likely to be too much.possible other problems can be the siting.ie is it in full sun,it has been very hot and although that form of acer will tolerate full sun,it sounds like it could be sun burn.(yes the bark can actually get sunburn,) make sure it is in a more sheltered spot..reflected light.off glass or a mirror for instance can also sometimes add to this effect.
make sure you apply a good depth of mulch around the bottom of the tree. approx 600mm diameter, use well rotton manure / compost..this will insulate the roots both in winter and summer and control the moisture around the roots much better...also check that the tree is not planted too deep?..better to lift it up 50mm from the surrounding ground level..even if it is buried a small amount this can stress and even kill a tree..
Best of luck..
Mark Gregory.

  • Posted: Thu. 17th June 2010 16:46