Acers are not difficult to care for, and will thrive with little maintenance as long as you follow a few simple rules:

  • Position your Acer out of the full sun, and protected from wind. This is because the leaves on Acers are delicate, and easily dehydrate. The ends will scorch and turn brown if this happens and look unsightly (though this is not catastrophic long-term as long as you remedy it in time; next year’s leaves will be fine).

  • It is vital that you water your Acer well, especially during the summer months. Keeping your Acer well-watered at all times will ensure the leaves don’t suffer from scorch, as mentioned above. Each section of the root system supplies water to a corresponding part of the tree, so if water is not available to the whole root system, a section of the tree may die back.

  • The root system in Acers is quite small in relation to their size, so watering thoroughly is important, as they cannot search out water for themselves in the same way as most other trees.

  • Acers prefer slightly acidic soil. Whilst they will happily adapt to our neutral London soil, when you first plant your Acer it’s wise to incorporate some ericaceous compost in the planting hole.

  • Acers do not need to be pruned, but if you want to improve their shape or contain their size, then do so in the dormant winter months; November - February. If a branch dies off (see second bullet point above), don’t panic! Just prune the dead branch out; the tree will recover.