Variegated Sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus Brilliantissimum
ACER PSEUDOPLATANUS BRILLIANTISSIMUM - Variegated Sycamore
This is a small, slow-growing tree with a dense round head. Top-grafted onto a short stem this tree will not grow much larger than 5m (16ft). The young leaves are shrimp-pink in spring and change to pale yellow-green, then darker green with yellow marbling as the summer progresses. One of the major attractions of this tree is that it provides a splash of early colour contrasting well with other foliage and lasting through the summer. It is suitable for container planting or a welcome addition to the border.
Where to grow
Can be grown in most soil types though it doesn’t like water logged sites or a high water table. Full sun or partial shade are good, avoid deep shady sites as this will effect the colour and size of the leaves. In late summer, the edges of the leaves can start to show stress but this will not harm the tree.
Did you know?
This tree is normally propagated via top grafting. This means that branches of the Acer pseudoplatanus Brilliantissimum are grafted onto the stem of an already existing tree with a fairly long stem. The reason this is done is that the Brilliantissimum is so slow growing and will not grow straight, so a rootstock with a straight stem is used to obtain the desired look.
- Mature height
- Very Small up to 5 metres
- 0-5 meters
- Round Headed
- Growth rate
- Very Slow
- Soil type
- Light sandy
- Sun levels
- Full sun
- Partial shade
- Difficulty/hard to grow
- Season of interest
- Green and Yellow (variegated)
- Early to Leaf
- Large Leaves
- Needs shelter
- Garden Tree
- Small garden Tree
- City/Urban Sites
- Suitable for Containers
- Suitable for Patio
Pruning Acer Pseudoplatanus Brilliantissium
Acer Pseudoplatanus Brilliantissium is a variegated cultivar, however new shoots may revert to plain, so remove these shoots if they appear. No other pruning is necessary other than to take out diseased, damaged or crossing stems. Take these off ensuring you make a clean cut that is 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 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.