Poorly Acer


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Hi everyone - I am new on here, I'm a very inexperienced gardener and was hoping that someone might be able to help me with what could be wrong with my poor acer!

I've had it 3 years, this problem has happened every summer and is getting worse each time. It is potted in tree compost and I try not to over water.

In the spring, it always looks very happy and healthy, but about a month after all the leaves are out they start to turn brown and quickly dry out, become crispy and curl up. This starts at the tips of the leaves and spreads inwards.

Our garden is north facing... When I first had it I was told it would tolerate full sun so had it against the south facing fence. That year it was happy till about August time when the leaves started to turn.

So the following year I moved it, thinking that perhaps it was getting too much full sun (our garden is not surrounded by trees so there is no dappled shade anywhere). I moved it to the opposite side of the garden where it was in the sun until early afternoon. But the same happened again.

This summer I have had it in the south eastern corner of the garden which only sees the morning sun. But this year has been the quickest and worst it has suffered!

I have uploaded some pics, and really hope someone might be able to help!
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Welcome!

Your poor wee maple certainly has a lot of foliage. We have various varieties of maples native here but I've never seen one grown in a container; I have a Japanese maple and several giant sugar maples on my property. The only thing I can think of is it would do better in the ground? Also, does the pot and soil have good drainage? Hopefully there are drain holes at the bottom of that pretty blue container. It may be getting waterlogged. If it's doing worse without a lot of sun this year, could be because the soil isn't drying out as much.
 
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Thank you Beth_B. There is drainage in the bottom of the pot - there are holes and I've also put some small rocks in the bottom too... I am hoping to plant it in the ground at some point, but our garden is basically made up of builders rubble and no good for anything! We are planning to build some raised beds next year.
The top of the soil seems to dry out pretty fast, but it is harder to tell what is going on further down... maybe it is simply a case of getting the watering levels right!
 
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Welcome to the forum @LouLou8613!

I had a similar problem with an Acer in the past, I just couldn't do right for doing wrong and no matter what I did it never seemed to be happy. They are very picky plants - I think of them as the Goldilocks of trees ;) They want things just right. Too much water, too little water, too much sun, frost, too much exposure, etc are all factors that can cause leaf scorch, which is what your Acer probably has. I don't see why you can't keep it in a container, but you need to make sure it is both well watered and has good drainage. Most Acers don't like strong sunshine, but I imagine morning or later afternoon sun should be ok. You also need to check whether it is sheltered enough - sometimes you get a turbulent airflow next to a fence/wall:

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Are there any large plants you could put it near to help shelter it from the wind?

I hope this helps!
 
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This Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) is in a very similar situation to your Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem' that was discussed in your other thread posting. Please refer to that thread for care or replacement options. There is a slightly greater chance that a deciduous tree such as Japanese Maple will recover if properly watered, but that is hardly a guarantee.
 
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