Author Topic: Acer dieback  (Read 1330 times)

Ruthie

  • Her Majester
Acer dieback
« on: June 28, 2016, 12:19:04 am »
What the thread title says, really  :'(

My four foot tall Japanese acer, which is in a pot, has dieback.  I bought it last year and it has always struggled.  The leaves this year are smaller than they were last year.

I assumed it would need lots of watering as it is in a container, but is it possible I've over-watered it?  Or has it been under-watered?  It has a covering of pebbles around the base to keep the soil moist and the cats off, and the container has drainage holes.

I'm keen to stop the fungus spreading to my dwarf lilac and my honeysuckle, also container grown.

The acer was expensive, is it best to just get rid of it?
Milk please, no sugar.

Re: Acer dieback
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2016, 06:54:39 am »
Mine thrives on neglect and seems impossible to kill. (Thrives might be an exaggeration!) I suspect that you may have over watered.

Re: Acer dieback
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2016, 07:35:51 am »
Is it fungus or just withered leaves? photo? We also struggle with potted acers, but they seem to come back year after year, and are now doing much better after 5 years-ish. (and I think we over-water but I daren't suggest that to Mrs Ham. To be fair the system works for most things)

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: Acer dieback
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2016, 10:52:32 am »
Aha!  Now I see.  I thought it was a terrible name for a Laptop.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Ruthie

  • Her Majester
Re: Acer dieback
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2016, 06:49:36 pm »
Aha!  Now I see.  I thought it was a terrible name for a Laptop.

Tea just came out of my nose  ;D
Milk please, no sugar.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Acer dieback
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2016, 10:13:51 pm »
If you have room, put it in the ground for a few years to recover. Repot in winter, and prune any large tap roots when you do.

Also worth checking the pot for ants, they are buggers for disturbing the roots. If they are there, bare root it and replant.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Acer dieback
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2016, 11:27:05 pm »
Vine weevil are notorious killers of container plants.  They have done for several of my mature acers, along with many other splendid shrubs and small trees.

You only know they are there when the leaves die back and by then it's too late.  Tell-tale signs - when you take the plant out of the container the roots are partially or completely severed just below the surface.  Also the soil will have white crescent-shaped grubs (which are what eat the roots).

Re: Acer dieback
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2016, 07:33:05 am »
Compost is available, with a chemical added which will help prevent vine weevil
Also if you inspect your containers at night you may catch the flightless adult weevils

Re: Acer dieback
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2016, 08:54:01 am »
"Help prevent" being the operative words here. As with the nematodes, they are only partly successful in treating vine weevil.  The chemical sure-fire treatment was added to the EU list of banned substances a while back, and I have since lost some of my best plants despite using these replacements.

The idea of inspecting over 100 large container plants every night for signs of a small dark beetle isn't really practical for me unfortunately.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Acer dieback
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2016, 09:15:55 pm »
may explain one or two of my bonsai having serious die back over winter.  Haven't seen anything like that though
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Ruthie

  • Her Majester
Re: Acer dieback
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2016, 01:53:18 pm »
I reckon it's got verticillium wilt, since the photos on Google look exactly like what's happened to my poor specimen  :'(

2016-07-09_01-40-50 by Ruth Irving, on Flickr

2016-07-09_01-40-30 by Ruth Irving, on Flickr

2016-07-09_01-39-59 by Ruth Irving, on Flickr

2016-07-09_01-39-35 by Ruth Irving, on Flickr
Milk please, no sugar.

Re: Acer dieback
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2016, 04:19:00 pm »
I would be interested if anyone gets a definitive answer. I have had extreme cases of die back in 3 clients' gardens. Some complete. Some just the tips and some to 3" above soil level. Some in containers, some planters and some in the ground. The ONLY common anomaly is I am their gardener! Gulp.

I don't think without samples of the plant, soil or evidence of pests, you can guess what the cause is unfortunately. The Internet isn't that good yet. It needs the help of a plant pathologist in a lab.