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Is there any hope for a desperate Acer?

(23 Posts)
Alima Thu 06-May-21 10:28:19

I noticed this morning that our container grown Acer must have been got at by the frost. (In Hampshire, in May?). The side furthest from the house is totally bare of leaves or buds. The leaves left on look to be clinging on by their fingertips. Do you think it will recover, if not this year then next?

Casdon Thu 06-May-21 10:31:23

Yes, it will recover, you need to put it in a sheltered spot away from the wind. I’ve got an acre very similar to yours in a pot, and the same thing happened to it, but when I moved it to a more suitable position it did grow new leaves the same year.
Good luck!

FannyCornforth Thu 06-May-21 10:37:37

Mine seems to be in a sort of static state; a sort of plant purgatory; neither alive or dead.
I'll move it to the side of the shed. Out of the elements and where I can keep an eye it. Thanks Casdon

Alima Thu 06-May-21 10:37:43

Thank you Casdon, there is hope then! (I love that plant).

Namsnanny Thu 06-May-21 10:38:14

Scrape the bark off with your fingernail (less harmful than a knife)
If the wood is white and supple looking, the branch will recover.
Give it some protection and it will recover.
If not prune out dead wood and protect from future wind damage.

BlueBelle Thu 06-May-21 14:53:53

I had two they both appeared to die one did but the other is still with me the one that died was in a container the one that lived was in the ground and I love it too a real orange shade

Amberone Thu 06-May-21 15:04:28

We had two acers in pots - last year one got 'frosted' and never recovered. What I don't understand is why the three that are planted in the ground never seem to get bothered by snow, ice, sun, wind, drought, never get fed or watered ... they have been there for over twenty years and are five feet tall now and at the moment are beautiful shades of red and orange. But I have difficulty keeping them alive in pots.

Callistemon Thu 06-May-21 15:05:10

I have even more desperate clematis. They were a picture last year, smothered in blooms but this year one looks lifeless and the other is struggling.

Can you give it a feed? there is a special one for acers. Keep it sheltered from any more frost or hailstorms. We shouldn't have to put a fleece blanket on them at night in May but it has been exceptionally cold.

So many plants came out in leaf in the April warmth then got caught in May frosts.

Alima Thu 06-May-21 17:53:44

I tried the fingernail scrape thingy Namsnanny, the underneath looked white and healthy. I will keep an eye on the weather and protect it if necessary. Will watch with bated breath. (Blooming frost!).

25Avalon Thu 06-May-21 18:05:37

Acer’s don’t not like winds so it could be that rather than frost that has done the damage. Put it in a sheltered spot and see if it recovers. You can cut off the dead branches. I have had this with large old acers which have resprouted and grown on. There is hope yet!

jeanie99 Sat 08-May-21 13:46:12

I've had frost damage the leaves of my Acer in a pot, they are still growing so fingers crossed.
Same thing with my Hydrangeas.

It's been a strange Spring, sunny and dry where I live in April and pouring down with rain so far in May.

Most of the nights have been very cold.

Greyduster Sat 08-May-21 14:13:48

If you think that’s desperate you should see mine! It’s not even put out shoots this year. I have no luck with them in this garden, and think it’s time to give up. We left two beauties in our last garden. I do love them.

MerylStreep Sat 08-May-21 14:26:28

I suffer from Acer envy 🤢 I’ve tried them everywhere in my garden, in pots and ground, different positions but no luck 😰
Where as my neighbour ( living opposite) has them everywhere, sun, shade, everywhere !!!
I do have one consolation: Monty Don can’t grow them.

Callistemon Sat 08-May-21 14:55:14


I tried the fingernail scrape thingy Namsnanny, the underneath looked white and healthy. I will keep an eye on the weather and protect it if necessary. Will watch with bated breath. (Blooming frost!).

I saw DS's Acer yesterday and it looked lovely; it's not a large one and is in the ground but he said it looked awful a couple of weeks ago but has revived itself. So 🤞

Greyduster Mon 10-May-21 08:09:05

Looked at mine again yesterday and it’s as dead as a dodo and will have to come out. My next door neighbour has two in her front garden and one in the back which are lovely. I don’t really want to risk another one. They’re too expensive to lose.

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 10-May-21 08:21:34

Amberone because plants in pots get cold right through the ceramic (or whatever the pot is made of) and if very cold the roots freeze.

When planted in the soil they are protected unless we get a severe ground frost.

J52 Mon 10-May-21 08:57:28

I often plant in a plastic pot and then put the whole thing in a ceramic pot. It offers some protection against the frost.
Last week I got a beautiful Acer , almost 1m tall from Wilco’s, it was only £11, a bargain as I’d seen similar in the garden centre for £30.

Patsy70 Mon 10-May-21 19:01:19

I’ve had 2 acers in pots for some years now, called ‘Orange Dream’, which I bought from a local market. They are quite beautiful, and I do keep an eye on them, feed them with liquid seaweed and water with rain water, but they are so slow growing. They are not in direct sunlight, but it can get a bit windy where they are. What compost do you use? There is some confliction on whether it should be ericaceous or not.

Casdon Mon 10-May-21 20:23:10

Mine are in ericaceous compost with bark mulch on the top, but other than that they are treated with benign neglect. I do water them in the summer, and they are in different types of pots (one in a half barrel, one in a large plastic pot and two in stoneware pots), and they are all doing really well. I’ve never fed them, just increased the pot size as they’ve grown. I conclude from this that the compost type must be important.

Kalu Mon 10-May-21 20:38:07

My normally glorious acer, in the ground, looked quite dead a couple of weeks ago. This morning, full of healthy new growth so, don’t give up Alima. 🤞

cornergran Tue 11-May-21 01:55:49

I love acers and have always planted them in containers. We’ve three, they sometimes get wind burn (we’re near the coast) but so far have recovered. It’s impossible to find a wind free spot in our garden. All came with us eight years ago from our previous home where they were very sheltered and have coped well with the different environment. I don’t fuss them, they have a couple of inches of new ericaceous compost each year, some plant food when I remember and are watered when the rest of the garden is watered. Don’t give up on yours Alima, it could well surprise you.

Lin52 Wed 19-May-21 08:19:27

Had three attempts at growing Acres, without success, they all died. Yet my friend has grown, from a garden centre potted one, a beauty, so have to view hers instead.

H1954 Wed 19-May-21 08:30:36

I have two that I originally bought from B & M a few years ago. I planted one at the top of the garden in quite poor soil and one in a pot which I put in front of the house. Neither did very well to be honest so I decided to dig up the planted one and plant both in the front garden several feet apart. The front is south facing and other than a bit of leaf curl caused by the frost in late April and early May both are thriving. They're slightly different heights but that doesn't matter. I love the colour and the movement when the breeze catches them.
I also have a Sambucca which is thriving better out front than in the back garden.