Variegated Box Elder Acer negundo Aureomarginatum

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Product description

ACER NEGUNDO AUREOMARGINATUM - Variegated Box Elder

Characteristics

A variegated form of the Box Elder this is a small deciduous tree that will reach 7m (22ft) when mature and is a good choice for small gardens. 

The variegated pinnate leaves consist of leaves with a yellow-white coloured margin, this cultivar is a small to medium-sized tree or shrub, often with several stems,  whilst the pale grey of the branches look attractive in winter. Prone to shooting from the base it can be grown as a large shrub, though its ultimate shape will be oval.

Where to grow

It will grow well in full sun or light shade and can cope with most soils though it likes free draining ground. For the best displays of foliage occur when it has been pruned back hard in the winter. Like many variegated trees it is prone to reversion, so any branches with purely green leaves will need to be removed completely.

Did you know?

A German cultivar from 1885 the variegated leaves of this tree make it a good plant to use to contrast with darker plants. It can look very nice when planted with blue conifers such as Cupressus Arizonica Fastigiata.
 

Mature height
Small - 5-10 metres
Spread
0-5 meters
Shape/habit
Shrub Multi-Stem
Spreading
Growth rate
Fast
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty/hard to grow
Easy
Evergreen/Deciduous
Deciduous
Season of interest
Spring
Summer
Autumn colour
Yellow
Leaf
Green and Yellow (variegated)
Foliage
Cut leaf
Stem/bark
Green
Uses
Garden Tree
Small garden Tree
City/Urban Sites
Flower Arranging

Aftercare

Pruning Acer Negundo Aureomarginatum

As a variegated variety you may find that leaves on new stems revert to a full green, if so simply remove these stems fully. When cutting, make sure you remove the entire stem flush at the point of origin. Otherwise, pruning on Acer negundo Aureomarginatum can be restricted to the removal of damaged or diseased stems.

What time of year should I prune?  Prune in winter (November to January) when the plant is dormant. Acers bleed sap if pruned too early.

For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.

Watering

The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.

Staking

If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.

Ties

Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.

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