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Acer Pseudoplatanus Brilliantissimum is a variety of Sycamore Tree which has some excellent qualities to recommend it to UK gardeners. It has received the RHS Award of Garden Merit AGM for its attractive pink foliage in spring and compact size, which makes it a good choice for gardens large and small.
Native to Europe and western Asia, Acer Pseudoplatanus Brilliantissimum starts off in the spring with a burst of foliage colour when its leaves emerge with a shrimp-pink hue, which turns to a yellow-lime green shade and then finally green as autumn approaches. This switch around in the progression of colour through the seasons adds interest in the garden when most other foliage is green. In autumn it also produces red winged fruit up to 5cm across. The bark on a mature tree flakes to reveal inner orange bark, which adds winter interest to the landscape.
This small-scale Sycamore Tree is reliably hardy in even the most severe of UK winters. Over a period of 20 to 50 years it will grow to an eventual height and spread of 4-8 metres. Its compact growth habit makes it a good choice for smaller gardens, and it requires little pruning to maintain its natural attractive form.
Plant your Acer Sycamore in a sheltered position in full sun or partial shade. It will grow well in any soil type or ph range, as long as the soil is well-drained, and will tolerate some dry conditions. Since it is salt-tolerant, it is a good choice for planting in coastal locations. This low-maintenance sycamore tree is an excellent background planting for splashier plants such as spring-blossoming cherry trees or trees which turn brilliant hues in autumn. It makes a good shade tree for a woodland garden or seating area. Used in a cottage garden or wildlife planting, it adds charm to the spring picture with its pink foliage. Mass plantings on banks or slopes can fill in problem spots which are difficult to maintain.
Tolerant of urban pollution, Acer Pseudoplatanus Brilliantissimum can be a reliable tree in a city garden or courtyard, valuable for both its unique foliage colours and the shade that it can provide. Because of its small size, it is also suitable for container or street-side planting.
Acer Pseudoplatanus Brilliantissimum is an excellent small tree for UK gardens. Its unusual progression of foliage colours make it something different in the landscape!