Jump to content
Ratman

Acer Palmatum Atropurpureum looking poorly

Recommended Posts

Hi all, as title suggests, shes looking a bit unhealthy. So the story goes…. Purchased back in April 17 from a nursery, took her straight home and potted her on in to a larger container

 

IMG_1086.jpg

 

Kept in the pot till probably 2018 then transferred in to a large pot

 

IMG_2357.jpg

 

All seemed well, then i built some raised beds with the intensions of putting her in there once the beds were built

 

IMG_5530.jpg

 

Transferred her across and filled the bed up with ericaceous compost in april last year. (Not the best pic sorry)

This year she has barely shown any signs of vibrant life. Probably only produced half the amount of leaves as normal and not with any vibrant colour or lasting “leaf” time. Seem to leaf then drop straight away. Leaves looked wilted and shrivelled, a lot have been brown looking. I put it down to possibly stress due to the transfer, mixed in with windburn and frost issues following our shite winter that we’ve just had. Normally at this time of year she would be full of leaf and vibrant in colour. Only this time i’ve noticed also that there are dead branches and sparse patches on the upper areas, the leaves are wrinkled and not as abundant. This morning whilst clearing up leaves from the next door planted camellia that there is fungal growth coming out of the compost.

 

IMG_5866.jpg

 

IMG_5867.jpg

 

Along with the dead branch areas…..

 

IMG_5868.jpg

 

IMG_5869.jpg

 

Do you think this could be honey fungus? And whats my best course of action do you think? I have watered as necessary and fed using vitax acer feed as per instructions. Any thoughts and help will be much appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

is there any signs of insect damage or they could have been vine weevils in the pots when you have transferred them to the final planting position     

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
is there any signs of insect damage or they could have been vine weevils in the pots when you have transferred them to the final planting position     

No flys or insect damage visible from start to now, the leaves and branch issues i was fairly convinced was due to wind and frost. But seeing the fungi growing this morning has made me think it has a bacteria / fungal issue within the compost / roots? Googling the pics brought me to the honey fungus thoughts? Theres only the three areas where the fungi are present, but obviously visually its only “day one” more may appear but only time will tell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the fungi is a bit concerning was the compost out of a bag or in bulk from somewhere it might be worth taking it back out and inspect the roots carefully and then placing it in a pot then sterilizing the raised bed with a good drenching of jays fluid once a week for a month then leave it a month before planting again 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the drainage like in that raised bed?  The surface of the compost looks as if it's sitting wet - moss and fungi shouldn't be apparent that way.  Or maybe the pic is giving me the wrong impression.

Could the compost have compacted after lots of wet weather?  Horticultural grit or perlite mixed in is always a good shout as it helps maintain an open texture

Edited by nepia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the fungi is a bit concerning was the compost out of a bag or in bulk from somewhere it might be worth taking it back out and inspect the roots carefully and then placing it in a pot then sterilizing the raised bed with a good drenching of jays fluid once a week for a month then leave it a month before planting again 

Compost was out of a bag, used the same stuff on the camellia in the next bed, that seems ok apart from a little frost damage which they are prone too if a bit exposed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What's the drainage like in that raised bed?  The surface of the compost looks as if it's sitting wet - moss and fungi shouldn't be apparent that way.  Or maybe the pic is giving me the wrong impression.
Could the compost have compacted after lots of wet weather?  Horticultural grit or perlite mixed in is always a good shout as it helps maintain an open texture

The soil looks wet as i had watered everything that morning before going to work, the beds are pretty well draining, the soil in the very bottom and below i dug over thoroughly and mixed in a few bags of sharp sand before adding the bags of ericaceous and the plants.
What do you mean by moss and fungi shouldnt appear this way?
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There may be two things happening here.

 

The cold, dry spring with very late frosts have caused trouble with many of my Acers.  Most were quite late for their first flush of leaves and then many got frost-burnt.  In normal years, there's a second flush of leaves after the first are damaged.  But the very dry weather meant that this wasn't very strong - and the plants have become very 'stressed'.

 

This has meant one or two have succumbed to Verticillium and others have had branch-tip-die-back.  Quite a lot like the last 2 pictures above.

 

 

With any luck your Acer will battle through and find it's feet and recover. 

 

Two other things to consider longer term.

 

With my Acers in pots [have 15-20] - I always add grit to the compost.  In my experience Japanese Acers need moist but free-draining soil.  If their roots are constantly wet - there's often trouble.  Some varieties are very sensitive to waterlogging.  There's a beautiful variety called Corallinum and the only way I can get that to grow is a 50:50 mix of soil and grit.  

 

Personally I wouldn't feed it right now - and I'd let that soil dry out a bit - then water again.

 

More controversially, I never use Ericaceous compost.  That applies to Japanese Acers in pots - but also those I've planted in the ground.  This is something I was told they needed - but I have experimented over the past 20+ years and it's not true, in my experience.  What I have found is that if you use Ericaceous compost - and over water - it will go 'sour' very quickly. 

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There may be two things happening here.
 
The cold, dry spring with very late frosts have caused trouble with many of my Acers.  Most were quite late for their first flush of leaves and then many got frost-burnt.  In normal years, there's a second flush of leaves after the first are damaged.  But the very dry weather meant that this wasn't very strong - and the plants have become very 'stressed'.
 
This has meant one or two have succumbed to Verticillium and others have had branch-tip-die-back.  Quite a lot like the last 2 pictures above.
 
 
With any luck your Acer will battle through and find it's feet and recover. 
 
Two other things to consider longer term.
 
With my Acers in pots [have 15-20] - I always add grit to the compost.  In my experience Japanese Acers need moist but free-draining soil.  If their roots are constantly wet - there's often trouble.  Some varieties are very sensitive to waterlogging.  There's a beautiful variety called Corallinum and the only way I can get that to grow is a 50:50 mix of soil and grit.  
 
Personally I wouldn't feed it right now - and I'd let that soil dry out a bit - then water again.
 
More controversially, I never use Ericaceous compost.  That applies to Japanese Acers in pots - but also those I've planted in the ground.  This is something I was told they needed - but I have experimented over the past 20+ years and it's not true, in my experience.  What I have found is that if you use Ericaceous compost - and over water - it will go 'sour' very quickly. 
 
 
 

Thanks very much, some good positive info. I was 99% sure that the majority of the problems were going to be stress related due to the weather we’ve had, but its the little fungus growths that got me worrying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I very much doubt the fungi is honey fungus, it's too small and doesn't look right.

 

It's more likely something like Leotia lubrica, Jellybaby fungus which is living in the material in the compost. The compost probably contains wood fibre and it also suggests, as others have said, the compost may be a bit too wet.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Featured Adverts

  • Tip site reviews

About

Arbtalk.co.uk is a hub for the arboriculture industry in the UK.  
If you're just starting out and you need business, equipment, tech or training support you're in the right place.  If you've done it, made it, got a van load of oily t-shirts and have decided to give something back by sharing your knowledge or wisdom,  then you're welcome too.
If you would like to contribute to making this industry more effective and safe then welcome.
Just like a living tree, it'll always be a work in progress.
Please have a look around, sign up, share and contribute the best you have.

See you inside.

The Arbtalk Team

Follow us

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.