My Acers have shed their leaves already!

Hi folks,
(Apologies in advance, this is a long one...)
I would like to get a second opinion on this please as I have a feeling that my trees are very poorly.
I bought an Acer Suminagashi and an Acer Orangeola around three months ago from Jackson's nurseries and to be perfectly honest, they've never looked too healthy and they have never recovered properly from their journey to me.
Starting with the Suminagashi, this had lots of white patches on the leaves and Jacksons said this was overspray from some other chemical that they treated other trees with and that when the tree sheds its leaves, they'll grow back ok next year - Sounds OK to me.
The Suminagashi is around 7 feet tall and is quite thin and is held up by a cane and even though it never looked healthy, it did look as though it might recover. After a couple of weeks, I noticed that these yellowy white patches had started to get bigger and more widespread, and if what Jacksons said about it being overspray were true, then the patches couldn't be spreading to previously OK leaves?
Anyway, a few more weeks passed and the Suminagashi has really started to look poorly (at least to me anyway), the trunk has developed white stripes which Jackson's say is completely normal, yet they weren't there before (see pic below).
About three weeks ago, all the leaves started to turn crispy and dead at the tips, so i gave it a good checking over for Aphids and other insects and didn't find anything. Jackson's said that it was OK to re-pot it at this stage as I had been waiting for it to perk up a bit, so I did.
I have a 40cm terracotta pot that I filled the bottom with stones for drainage and then some ericaceous compost (on recommendation), I then mixed the compost with a bit of bonemeal, stood the Suminagashi's old pot in a bucket of water for a few minutes before removing the plastic pot and transferring the whole lot to the terracotta pot. I then gave it a good soaking and have regularly watered it every couple of days since.
About 3 days ago, the Suminagashi started to shed its leaves, a bit of a rain shower would see a patio full of leaves and now its at the point where there's not many leaves left on it!
I decided to have a closer look at the leaves and there are some really tiny, whitish yellow fibres on most of the leaves:
[image:
http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc211/clunked5/IMG_8877.jpg]
[image:
http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc211/clunked5/IMG_8879.jpg]
[image:
http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc211/clunked5/IMG_8653.jpg]
^^If those images work, I'll post some more.
Does anyone have any idea what's happening please, I'll be eternally grateful :)
Thanks.
--
Clunk

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On 8/26/2009 11:18 AM, Clunk wrote:

I would NEVER rely on stones or gravel at the bottom of a pot for drainage. Pots should always have drain holes in the bottom.
I don't know your climate. In southern California, where I live, any maple -- especially a Japanese maple -- is marginal except right at the coast. The air is generally far too dry. The result is that leaves burn at the tips. Then they fall in August or September. Even with constantly moist soil and lots of shade, the trees suffer because the humidity is much too low.
Only in Ventura, Oxnard, Malibu, Santa Monica, and similar ocean-side areas -- where there is generally extra moisture in the air -- will maples do well. Inland, maples require constant misting, which is now prohibited in many areas of southern California because of the drought.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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David E. Ross;862796 Wrote: > On 8/26/2009 11:18 AM, Clunk wrote:-

> feeling

> months

> never

> up

> these

> and

> started

> bit,

> plastic

> gave

> of

> point

> really

> the

> drought.

Hi David,
The pot does have holes as well.
I'm in northern UK and we've had a very wet, warm summer, partly humid and partly dry.
There's a few peoplee with Acers on my street and they seem to be doing OK, so I think the climate is OK for them here.
Did you see anything odd in the photos?
Thanks.
--
Clunk


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On 8/27/2009 4:59 AM, Clunk wrote:

The first photo -- the one of an entire leaf -- looks like the four Japanese maples at the public garden where I'm a docent. They all have leaf burn and look real sad. Two of them (a red lace-leaf and a green lace-leaf) will be leafless by the end of September. The Bloodgood will soon follow them. The Coral Bark will keep its leaves into October. (These are all varieties of A. palmatum.)
The closeup photo of a part of a leaf indicates you might have cottony scale. This late in the year, it's not worth treating. In the spring or early summer, use a systemic insecticide; or use malathion mixed with a little liquid soap.
I'm not sure about the last photo.
My garden encyclopedia (Sunset's "Western Garden Book") indicates that Japanese maples must be sheltered from wind and given the same soil and care as azaleas. Potted maples require a potting mix that holds moisture but drains well; try my do-it-yourself mix at <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_potting_mix.html . They also should be in a partially-shaded location.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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