Why has this happened.

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Why has this happened.

Postby Primrose » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:16 pm

Here's a photo of my acer in a tub. Last week it lost all of the leaves on its upper branches in the normal autumn leaf fall. However, last year a new sprout developed from nowhere further down the main trunk and this has now developed into a healthy new branch
. However, unlike the other branches it has not yet shed a single leaf. It's behaving as if it's a different plant.

Any idea why this should happen? I'm curious.
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Re: Why has this happened.

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:36 pm

Perhaps it is because it is younger wood and is taking longer to produce the chemical changes that cause leaf drop. One of my red acers has done something similar with a new shoot but it is on a much larger tree.
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Re: Why has this happened.

Postby sally wright » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:19 pm

Dear Primrose,
it is a normal thing to see this part defoliation. It's proper name is marcescence which is a posh way of saying that the bit at the bottom of the tree keeps it's leaves. Some trees retain these leaves all through the winter; Oak and Beech being the two we are most familiar with in the UK. I suspect that on your Acer these leaves will fall off in a week or so. I have a Silver Lime where I work and the top half generally empties out at least a week before the bottom does.
That said there is also the possibility that the branch has grown from below the graft joint and is a different plant. Although I doubt this as the leaves appear to be of a cultivar rather than a rootstock.
Regards Sally Wright.
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