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Acer negundo Variegatum or Ashleaf Maple The Acer negundo Variegatum, also called the Ashleaf Maple, is a small deciduous tree that grows to a maximum height of 15 metres. It produces an upright, pyramid-type growth. The tree is fast growing with a spreading habit. It should not be confused with the cultivar Acer Negundo Flamingo.
The Acer negundo Variegatum has exotic looking foliage that will stand out in the garden. Each leaf is a greyish green shade. The leaf’s margin is outlined in a pale pink shade when young. As the leaf matures, the pink fades to a silvery-white. The leaves are born in a pinnate form with four to five individual leaflets. The foliage colourations and the graceful shape of the leaves give the tree a fluttery appearance, especially during a breezy day. In the autumn, the foliage turns yellow before falling from the tree. During the spring months, the Ashleaf Maple does produce very small inconspicuous flowers.
The Acer negundo Variegatum grows best when planted in full sun but will tolerate partial shade. It will withstand virtually any soil type or pH level. However, it does not like a water-logged root system, so ideally you should choose a planting site that is well draining. During the tree’s first year of growth, keep the soil evenly moist but not overly saturated. This will assist the tree in producing a diverse root system. Once established, it will withstand short periods of drought.
The Ashleaf Maple requires no significant pruning to maintain its shape. However, if you wish to trim the tree to maintain its size, then you need to do all the trimming in the mid-summer months after the leaves have matured. You should avoid trimming the tree in the winter or spring because the Acer negundo Variegatum may bleed sap.
On occasion, the Ashleaf Maple may suffer reversion. This is when the tree’s dominant characteristic of growing all green leaves takes over on a branch or two. Any branch that produces only green leaves should be promptly removed from the tree to maintain its variegated appearance.