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Hampshire, United Kingdom Gb

We have an Acer in a London courtyard. No much sun but was doing well.....until the builders came.
After six months of scaffolding and planks and totally robbed of light it has lost all it's leaves....and frankly looks rather dead.....we know that we can prune it at the end of this month when it should not bleed. But my fear is that it is already deceased....the end of the branches are like broken twigs when we twist them off to check.
There is no life in them within 6 inches of the end of the twig !!!!
Should we prune back and hope we find a living organism at some point or have we already lost it due you think.



Try scraping the bark of your tree with your thumb nail to remove the top layer further down the trunk. You should be able to see a green layer if it is still alive.

1 Oct, 2012


As per above, scratch till you find any green (or not). Losing its leaves is not going to kill it, as Acers are prone to losing leaves in wind. If it has been kept watered it might well pull through - I have seen indoor Acers with poor light doing fine. My guess is if the scaffolding deprived it of light then it also deprived it of all water.

2 Oct, 2012


Many thanks to you Both for the advice.
It has been assiduously watered throughout so might stand a good chance.
Once the green is found hopefully I'm assuming we just leave to naturally recover without any cutting back at all
Thanks again

3 Oct, 2012


Even if you dont find any green Keith - don't be too hasty in getting rid!! One of my Coral barked Acers looked very poorly earlier in the year due to a severe aphid attack followed by waterlogging.
I lifted it from its position, planted it in a pot and as each of the main branches showed signs of dying (turning black) I cut them off as I felt I had nothing to loose. It has, much to my surprise, put on new growth and despite it's rather strange shape (which I will address next year) is very much alive!

3 Oct, 2012

How do I say thanks?

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