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Alan Titchmarsh, known for presenting Love Your Garden and Gardeners’ World has offered advice on maintaining the health of acer trees as well as where to begin when organising a garden. Speaking on an episode of ITV’s This Morning on Thursday, the gardening expert shared his top tips.
One woman took to the show to ask for advice about her acer tree.
Lesley said: “My quest for Alan is about my large acer tree. At the moment it’s about eight foot tall, but didn’t look as lush as last year.
“Quite a few branches are very bare. Should I prune it? If so, by how much?”
Alan replied: “Acers lose their leaves in winter, so I would be very surprised if there was a leaf at all on it.
“Wait until it comes into leaf, it’s probably just a bit hungry.”
Alan explained that it would help to use a fork to prick over the soil around the tree and give it a really good mulch of manure.
He noted the importance of using “fertiliser” to ensure the tree is healthy and thriving.
The gardening guru said: “Put some fertiliser on first.
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“Feed it well, there’s been plenty of water coming down so it won’t be dry, but it might just be starved.”
Many acers are slow growing and compact, making them excellent trees for small gardens.
Grow them as a free-standing specimen, as a part of a border, or in a large container.
The most important thing to remember when growing acers is to give them a sheltered position.
They need to be protected not only from northern and easterly winds but from frosts, too – cover them with fleece in winter, if necessary.
Acer trees will tolerate most soils except very heavy clay.
Alan explained how these trees hardly need pruning, especially in winter and spring.
He said: “Acers generally don’t need much pruning, except when it does come into leaf.
“Snip off anything which is bare, sometimes they get a little bit of dye back but hopefully the fertiliser and manure will boost it, then you just nip out those bits.
“Don’t cut it back because they look butchered if they get chopped back too much.”
Another gardening enthusiast also asked: “My gardens a mess. I’m really overwhelmed by it, where do I start with getting it in order?”
Alan replied: “The place to start is always in any garden right outside your kitchen window because then when you come back in you can see what you’ve done.
“If you start right down the bottom and then you come back, it may look no different.
“Get a plan and do a little sketch about what you want and where.”
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