Dying Acer Advice

Hello I bought an Acer (Japanese maple) last from the garden center which had two lead branches that weren't connected above the soil line.
This year the leaves have started to form and the plant is really growing well on one of the two leaders (as you can see from the pictures) however the second leader the leaves have shrivelled and are dying.
What should I do to maximize growth from the plant? Do I remove the recessive "upright" to allow the dominant to grow? If so, when should I do this? Now during growing season or wait till late summer
Thanks!
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mattyvx


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On Sun, 19 May 2013 15:42:57 +0200, mattyvx

Whatever you thought was the soil line wasn't... you planted it too deep... you're lucky both trunks didn't die. Japanese maple is typically multi trunked... the soil line would be well below where the trunks are connected. I suggest repotting before you lose the other trunk... actually it would do better planted in the ground.
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mattyvx wrote:

...
i would inquire into getting a replacement if you are unhappy with the plant.
songbird
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On 20/05/2013 02:06, Brooklyn1 wrote:

I think that you are pretty much right, although I doubt the OP replanted it yet - it looks like how it would come from the garden centre. I wondered if the dead shoot was off the stock, but the bark looks very similar to that on the live shoot.
I agree that the dead shoot needs to be removed, but if it is just one plant and the graft is failing, the whole tree is on the way out anyway. But he might be lucky, and that shoot has dieback which hasn't reached the junction with the other stem. Radical pruning might just save the Acer, but I wouldn't bet on it.
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Jeff

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On 5/19/13 6:42 AM, mattyvx wrote:

When you planted it, did you check to see if it was really one plant with two leaders or possibly two plants each with one leader? I suspect from the photos that the latter is true. Cut down the dead plant, and keep the live one.
Actually, the live plant will not maintain a leader at all. It will branch repeatedly without any dominant central trunk more than 2-3 feet above the pot. This seems to be a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum), possibly a 'Bloodgood'. These are rather small trees, 'Bloodgood' being among the largest, eventually reaching 15 feet if planted in the ground. It will never get that large in a pot.
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David E. Ross
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