Home Forums Gardening My acers keep dying…

Matteus Rosso Posted 3 months ago
My acers keep dying…

I’ve tried every position in my garden – shade, semi-shade, full sun – and every range of watering, not watering, feeding, not feeding. So far I’ve lost about 20 trees… so unless there’s something I’m missing I’ll be giving up and reverting to vines, which grow like weeds!! Help.

1 like & 15 replies
    • Sally Scarecrow 27th October 2021 at 8:45 am

      Hi, I too have struggled with Acers. Mine get to a certain height in my back garden, then die. I’m going to try my front garden next year, apparently they like morning sun and afternoon shade, so East facing is ideal (which is what my front garden is). If you haven’t already, try Miracle Gro Rhododendron and Azalea feed. That was recommended to me by the local Garden Centre.

      • Matteus Rosso 27th October 2021 at 10:34 am

        Thanks for that. Mine are in the back garden too. I don’t have anywhere to plant them at the front. They were originally in pots, mainly in the shade, then I planted them in the lawn [the ones that had survived!], which is shady in the cooler months and sunny in the Spring/Summer, but didn’t thrive. I dug them up after a couple of years and put them against a south-facing fence which gets a lot of sun all year – oh, and one by the opposite fence which doesn’t get direct sunlight. I’ll try the feed you suggest but suspect I’ll just have to give up 🙁 Good luck with yours!

        • Sally Scarecrow 27th October 2021 at 11:39 am

          Mine has given up and become a dead twig 😔, so I’ve dug it up. The annoying thing is, my next door neighbour has one the other side of the fence, that is thriving! So annoying.

    • SelsdonLion 27th October 2021 at 1:22 pm

      I’ve had no luck with them either. I think it’s because we have chalky soil as soon as you get about a foot down. Tried plenty of ericacious compost and feeds but no joy. 😕

    • Matteus Rosso 27th October 2021 at 2:55 pm

      I think my soil is sandy below a couple of feet tho have a feeling that I’m right over a join between sand and clay as I had to dig out a trench to get a gas line to the house when I first moved in and was grateful that the sides didn’t keep falling in 🙂
      My friend bought one at the same time I got my fist batch [about 5 yrs ago] and she put it in a pot in her garden and it looks great! It’s on a patio and is protected on one side by 6′ roses.

    • Englishman 28th October 2021 at 10:43 pm

      Are they in a windy spot? Ours dropped all their leaves and sulked when they were catching the breezes but flourish now in a more sheltered area.

    • Pennypitstop 28th October 2021 at 11:47 pm

      I have had one in a large pot for about 10 years, never repotted it but I do feed it with chicken manure and magnesium and it does well. It is about 5ft high. It gets some morning sun but is in partial shade for the rest of the day. They don’t like hot sun, and cold winds. I have a walled garden so it is quite sheltered.

    • goldfish63 31st October 2021 at 8:08 pm

      ericaceous compost

    • EricaLovesFlowers 31st October 2021 at 8:21 pm

      I have 3 in pots. Ericaecious soil. They all thrived until last year when one protested about a late frost and another was chewed up by a visiting Labrador puppy.
      Although they are supposed to be handy to -5 they really don’t like a late frost…
      I think my top tip would be to plant them in pots, protect from frost and neglect them.
      I’ve never done this but I have read that they love cold black tea as a feed.

    • Matteus Rosso 1st November 2021 at 9:43 am

      Of the four that have survived from when I first started, three are in full sun with their backs to the fence – one looks ‘OK’ while the other two are basically sticks in the soil. They started out in pots in the shade, then the five that hadn’t given up the ghost I planted in my lawn that is sunny when it’s warm and shady when it’s cool but they didn’t like that either so after a year I moved them to the fence.
      I transplanted one from there to the opposite fence that is in shade almost all year round, The leaves have all fallen off but there are buds so it’s not gone – yet! I will give it one last go and move it to a sheltered area in semi-shade by the opposite fence. After that – I give up 🙁
      Must admit I’m v jealous of you gardeners who now have proper trees in less time than how long I’ve been struggling.
      On an unrelated note – I’d never been able to grow wisteria until someone suggested I tie it up even tho it was barely 12″ high and it’s grown like a weed ever since! At least something likes it here 🙂
      Btw I live in Ipswich and the weather is quite mild tho occasionally windy [no hills between us and Scandinavia].

      • The Animal Lady 11th December 2021 at 6:53 pm

        Certainly your location will not help with the winds coming off the north sea, but I would stop moving them. Most plants that are ericaceous have a tantrum if they are moved

    • madeleine45 8th December 2021 at 5:30 pm

      Acers prefer ericaceous compost but most of all need watering only with rainwater, never tap water. They also dislike strong winds, so you need to find a sheltered area for them as strong winds will shrivel and wreck the leaves. I would suggest that you take notice of where the draughts are and if there is a very windy spot and avoid that. Once you find what appears to be a good spot you could put the acer there in a pot at first to check it out before you plant it. Or you could keep them in appropriate pots with ericaceous soil and again water with butt water not tap and if you make a collection of pots then other plants will shield them from the wind . and if you have a sheltered area near the house wall you could make a very pretty collection of pots and enjoy them both outside and looking out of the window at them. Good luck with them they are worth the effort.

    • EricaLovesFlowers 10th December 2021 at 3:48 pm

      I grow them in pots. They thrive on neglect. I water them once a week and make sure they’re sheltered from the frost. I top up the soul every year and repot every 5 years. They love a nice cup of black tea occasionally.
      I’ve had them for 20 years.

    • Matteus Rosso 10th December 2021 at 4:10 pm

      Thanks for your suggestions. I had mine in pots originally – they were in a [relatively] shady and shielded spot but most of them didn’t survive a year, maybe because I used tap-water [don’t have a water-butt] and/or because I didn’t use ericaceous compost. I’m not a ‘serious’ gardener so I they are more likely to have been neglected rather than pampered!
      I’ll give them one more season then I think I’ll let the poppies reclaim what I suspect they think is their rightful domain 🙂

    • The Animal Lady 11th December 2021 at 6:46 pm

      You have done really well. I know they don’t like to be moved or pruned, so this may have upset them.