April 8, 2023 at 12:03 am Replymarie61Private messageGreenhorn
Hi I have a Acer bush I saved last year from a friend, it looked dead no leaf’s and very dry and in a pot. I planted it in the ground it still looks dead no buds yet, but shoots are growing at the bottom, about 3 inches now and red colour. My question is will it be ok and do I need to cut back the branches at the top. The plant is in shaded area with good soil. I am new to gardening so not sure what to do. I live in Hampshire UK.April 8, 2023 at 11:15 am Replyhands_and_dirtPrivate messageGreenhorn
Hello, it’s so nice that you’re saving doomed plants! The shoots growing are a great sign. It’s very encouraging!
You can definitely go ahead and prune away older branches that are dead. Dead branches feel lighter, stiffer, and ring a bit more hollow if you flick them with a fingernail. To make really sure a branch is dead, scratch the bark a bit, you’ll quickly know: live branches are moist and greenish underneath the bark, whereas dead branches are dry as bone.
The biggest question I would have at this point is whether the Acer bush was grafted or not. If it’s not grafted, then the shoots that are coming up are going to be the same as it was before. But if it was grafted, for instance to have a specific cultivar, then there’s a chance that the new shoots will be different. I think most varieties sold in store are grafted: the desired one is grafted to replace a rootstock variety.
Do you think you could upload a sharp picture of the stem, near the ground? We could tell if it’s been grafted by looking for a graft joint. You can tell if there’s a swelling with scarred bark, and if the bark is different above and below the swell.April 9, 2023 at 3:02 am Replynana11rondiPrivate messageGreenhorn
For my part I had a grafted acer and it did quite well in part shade. It got a fair amount of morning light and was protected by a hedge in the afternoon. Then one year it died suddenly at the same time as half my hedge and a camellia that was nearby. Only thing that thrives there now is an arborvitae, I never really understood what happened. Must be fungal or something. Since yours is in a pot you’re safe from that!
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