Plant Guide

Acer pseudoplatanus 'Esk Sunset'

Deciduous tree with an oval to pyramidal canopy and variegated foliage. The palmately lobed, green and cream leaves with toothed margins, are heavily flecked with salmon pink or sometimes entirely orange-pink. The undersides become progressively darker during the season, turning burgundy during summer. The orange shades on the upper surface of the foliage gradually change to cream (see photo in the gallery of leaves in autumn). Inconspicuous flowers in spring.

Sycamore maple cultivar, developed from a chance seedling discovered in a garden in the Esk Valley, New Zealand. Also known (outside New Zealand) as Acer pseudoplatanus 'Eskimo Sunset'.

Prefers a position in well-draining soil and partial shade. Leaf colourings vary with the amount of sun exposure, but to prevent leaf-burn, it is best to find a spot where the tree is protected from hot afternoon sun. Likes an even moisture level. Prune for shape if required in summer after leaves have fully developed. Tolerates urban pollution. Frost hardy.

Stunning maple with exquisite foliage colours, perfect as an accent tree. Particularly attractive when the leaves move in a light breeze and the darker coloured undersides are visible intermittently. The canopy is generally quite close to the ground (about 1.5 m clearance), so plant it away from circulation routes. 

Type of plant

Tree - Deciduous


reaches a height of about 4 m in 10 years

Landscape Use

specimen tree for foliage colour


  • Temperature: Hardy
  • Light: Medium
  • Moisture: Medium
  • Soil: Light Medium Heavy
  • Wind tolerance: Average
  • Coastal tolerance: Average