Variegated Norway Maple Acer platanoides Drummondii

British Grown
Volume 1-2 3-9 10+
Price per plant £42.00 £37.80 £33.60
Price £42.00
British Grown
Volume 1-2 3-9 10+
Price per plant £67.20 £54.00 £44.40
Price £67.20
British Grown
Volume 1-2 3-9 10+
Price per plant £108.00 £90.00 £78.00
Price £108.00
British Grown
Volume 1+
Price per plant £48.00
Price £48.00
British Grown
Volume 1+
Price per plant £108.00
Price £108.00

All prices include VAT

Product description



The most common and easily recognizable variegated Maple. Acer platanoides Drummondii is a medium sized tree that can grow to 15m (48ft) sometimes a little more. It is a broad-headed tree with a neat, dense crown. The striking variegated deeply lobed leaves have green centers, with a wonderful cream margin, that brighten everything around them. This light foliage works well as a contrast to darker plants, and for this reason you often see it planted next to Acer platanoides Crimson King in parks around the country.

Where to grow

Like most of the Norway Maple cultivars it will do well on most soil types and also copes well with pollution. You can plant in full sun or light shade.  Heavy shade will affect the brightness of the leaf colour.

Did you know?

Lots of variegated trees are prone to reversion and this one is no different. Reversion is when a branch of the tree starts to grow without the variegation. In this case they would be pure green without the cream edge. If you see this happening all you need to do is prune off any branches that have reverted as soon as you notice them.

Mature height
Medium - 10-15 metres
5-10 meters
Round Headed
Growth rate
Soil type
Light sandy
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty/hard to grow
Season of interest
Autumn colour
Green and Yellow (variegated)
Large Leaves
Flower colour
Flowering month
Needs shelter
Parkland Tree
Garden Tree
City/Urban Sites


Pruning Acer Platanoides Drummondii

When pruning Acer platanoides Drummondii remember that Acers do not take well to heavy pruning so ideally remove only young shoots. Watch out for reversion in the leaves and remove any affected stems fully to promote new variegated growth.

If there are diseased or damaged branches, remove these fully, cutting flush with the main stem.

What time of year should I prune?  Prune in winter (November to January) when the plant is dormant. Acers will 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.


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.


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.


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.


By robert johnstonbaugh on 27/06/2014

i am from U S A do u ship there thank u

By Simon on 14/07/2014

Hello Robert,

I am afraid we are not able to ship to the USA. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

Kind regards,


By P Lawley-Wright on 13/01/2015

My garden is open to an open field facing S&W in Lincolnshire 6 miles from the coast. The garden gets full sun and lots of wind. Would I be able to grow my favourite tree the Acer Drummondi?

By Simon on 29/01/2015


I am sure that it would grow where you are but you might find that in the summer the variegated leaves take a bit of a battering and start to look tatty quite early. So I suppose I would say the tree may grow but not thrive, if that makes sense.

By Mrs Audrey Pearce on 14/07/2015

When should an Acer Plantanoides drummondii be pruned, please? Can it be capped to stop it growing higher?
Thank you.

By Simon on 04/08/2015

Dear Audrey,

Acer Drummondii should be pruned when fully dormant, in the winter. As it is a tree that sends up a leader branch, it is not possible to limit the size of the tree without impacting on the natural shape of the crown.

By Keith on 09/08/2015

Roughly how long can this type of tree be kept in a pot? I currently have a patio garden but would be hoping to plant properly in a year or so.

By Simon on 10/08/2015

Hello Keith,

As long as you water and feed the tree in the growing season, you can maintain it in a pot for 6 months to a year, by which time it will probably be outgrowing its current pot.

By duncan murray on 17/08/2015

I live in Kent.  My Norway variagated maple suffers from leaf scorch from mid summer onwards.  It is in full sun until late afternoon.  it is 8 years old and otherwise perfectly healthy.

If I get another one should I plant it in a more shady part of the garden?

Thank you

By Simon on 19/08/2015

Dear Duncan,

You are quite right to think about planting in a shadier area to avoid leaf scorch. Be aware that the leaves may be darker as they will need to produce more chlorophyll, though. The most important thing is to avoid an area with hot midday sun. Hope that helps.

By Tim on 30/05/2016

Can you plant this in a the ground in a large pot to stunt the growth?

By Simon on 03/06/2016

Hello Tim,

Restricting the roots of Acer platanoides Drummondii would probably have the effect of stunting the growth, but ultimately it’s a medium sized tree so it would likely reduce its life span, too. Saying that, I expect the roots would in fact find their way out of the pot, foiling your efforts! It’s better to choose a similar tree that will naturally stay small, if this is what you need, for example Acer campestre Carnival: or Acer Brilliantissimum:

By Bill Clements on 08/06/2016

I have an acre platanoides drummondii that’s 15 feet plus tall and has been magnificent till last year when three branches of a main stem died during the winter. These were removed last year and unfortunately now the main stem has died leaving just four other main stems with branches in full leaf. What might be causing this ? And is the tree destined to totally die soon ?

By Simon on 08/06/2016

Hello Bill,

Sorry to hear about your Acer Drummondii. It’s probably best to send us a photo of the tree to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with details of when you planted, soil and aspect.

By David Chesters on 25/07/2016

My recently planted acer drummondii is covered with ants - are they a problem? - how best to get rid of them?

Many Thanks

By Simon on 27/07/2016

Hello David,

Ants in themselves aren’t usually a problem, but they tend to indicate that there are aphids on the tree. (The ants ‘milk’ the aphids for honeydew.) If you are able, do remove the aphids. You can either take them off by hand and squish them or spray with a soapy solution/insecticide. This will leave nothing of interest to the ants, so they will also go away.

By Simon Clifton on 31/07/2016

Hi, someone mentioned leaf scorching. I have a dark purple acer in a large pot which suffered this badly every year and has to live in full sun on a patio. I was told this issue was lack of water and then sun, but primarily water. This year I’ve been watering it a lot (there is no such thing as too much apparently) and no burning at all.

By Simon on 03/08/2016

Hello Simon,

That’s so true - in summer you need to water water water to keep newly planted trees healthy. Pots are especially prone to drying out and crispy brown leaves will be the result. If you resume watering then you can save trees that have started to dry out, but it’s best not to let it get that far. I would say that overwatering IS possible, though. The effects are different - you will find leaves dropping off without going crispy. In the ground, it’s best to only water every 3 days so that the roots are encouraged to grow out and find water for themselves.

By Maureen on 26/08/2016

My Acer Drummondii leaves are a very dark green, although the edges are cream or lime green.  The Drummondii in my previous garden had paler green leaves and gave a much lighter overall appearance.  This one is quite dark and does not show up well against the neighbour’s dark green hedge.  Is there anything I can feed it to make the leaves lighter?  It is 3 years old, in full sun and clay soil.

By Simon on 31/08/2016

Hello Maureen,

Acer Drummondii leaves are generally a mid to dark green in the centre, though there is some natural variation. When the tree first comes into leaf, the leaves can be lighter, but the darkening shows that they are healthy. I’m afraid I don’t know of anything you could feed the tree to lighten the natural leaf colour.

By Chris on 09/11/2016

I have a big Acer Drummondii -probably 35 ft+ previously very healthy

2 years ago my neighbour paid to have it shaped / pruned in winter [which was kind] as it borders his ground
However in the following season and also this year I have increasing reversion to green leaves.

I have tried this year to remove green growth / branches but some are really high

My Neighbour has offered again to pay for another trim but I feel I should decline because the reversion seemed to be much worse after original pruning and it seems the green growth out grows the variegated. Do you agree?

Also should I call in a tree surgeon in the spring to remove green leaved branches I cant reach?

By Simon on 11/11/2016

Hello Chris,

You’re right about the reverted branches being more vigorous. If not taken out, they do outgrow the variegated growth, so do get a tree surgeon in to remove the branches you can’t reach. Small branches could be cut off in mid to late summer, but thick branches should be marked (eg with string/ribbon) and cut off in winter. It sounds like the previous pruning stimulated growth in the reverted parts of the tree. Presumably the person carrying out the pruning couldn’t see which branches were reverted, because they weren’t marked. Selective treatment should bring the tree back to being all-over variegated. Once this is sorted out, you can decide what to do about regular maintenance. As the variegated growth isn’t quite so strong, it may not need such frequent trimming.

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