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Damaged leaves on Acer Palmatum 'Atropurpureum'

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Comment from Brian Rutter


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I just recently purchased an Acer Palmatum and noticed that some of leaves have damage/disease. I have uploaded an image of my Acer with an inset image of the damage to a leaf.
My question is how to best tackle this, do I remove the entire leaf (if so exactly where do I cut as to not cause further damage) or just snip off the affected part of the leaf ?
Additional Question:
I read that an Acer needs to be supported with cane rods. As you can tell, my gardening knowledge is not good and I am fearful of pushing the rod into the soil and hurting the plant.
Also, my acer seems to have 2 primary branches which branch off at approx 1 inch high from the soil, therefore do I need to use 2 rods for each main branch ?

Damaged leaves on Acer Palmatum 'Atropurpureum' (30/04/2011)

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  • Views: 1678
  • Replies: 2
  • Posted: Sat. 30th April 2011 15:12

Re: Damaged leaves on Acer Palmatum 'Atropurpureum'

Reply from Kathy C

HI, Brian,
I wouldn't be too concerned about the damage on your Acer palmatum - the leaves are delicate when young and susceptible to damage/scorch from cold temps, too much direct sunlight, handling/moving whilst at the nursery/garden centre, etc. If the damage isn't excessive (which it doesn't seem to be the case based on the photo) and isn't too unsightly, I would leave them. Your plant is young and recently planted - it needs as many leaves as possible to make food to for energy to recover from planting and establish itself. If you do decide to remove the damage leaves, just remove the entire leaf. If you simply cut off the damaged parts, you will create a new wound which will probably turn brown - you'll have a lot of cut leaves with brown edges where the cuts were made. As far as the rods for support, I wouldn't bother. Your Acer is upright, not flopping with what looks like a strong main stem (trunk). Staking is only good for young trees that can't quite support themselves, particularly if they are planted in an exposed area, and should only remain in place for a year. In fact, research has shown that unstaked trees are stronger - they build up supportive cells in the trunk when winds push them about.
Kathy C

  • Posted: Mon. 2nd May 2011 19:29

Re: Re: Damaged leaves on Acer Palmatum 'Atropurpureum'

Reply from Brian Rutter

Thankyou for taking the time to reply Kathy, I rally thought it was dying on me and your comments have reassured me everything is okay.
Again, many thanks !

  • Posted: Mon. 2nd May 2011 21:13