Acer pseudoplatanus Esk Sunset

Eskimo Sunset maple
  • Height 10 years: 2.5m-3.5m / 8ft-12ft

This small sycamore maple tree has perhaps the most exotic leaf colours of any maple. The new leaves emerge orange-green to yellow-green in spring with bronze tints, but change very quickly to a creamy-beige with dark green marbling. By the summer the leaves become a creamy-white colour, accented with green speckles and splashed with pink shades, and solid pink / purple undersides.

We sometimes offer "top-worked" forms of this variety. This gives a "mop head" appearance which accentuates the dense leafy canopy of the tree. Grown in this way the tree should not exceed 3m or so in the longer term.

Esk Sunset belongs to the maple species Acer pseudoplatanus, commonly known as sycamores.

It is named after the Esk Valley, near the town of Napier on the North island of New Zealand where it was discovered. It was introduced by nurseryman John Wills, along with a sister variety, Esk Flamingo.

In the UK and USA this variety is widely known as Eskimo Sunset, perhaps after the pink-white leaf colours, or simply a mistake when trees were first imported from New Zealand.

Esk Sunset trees for sale

Height in 10 years
Price inc. VAT
2-year top-worked Esk Sunset tree - in a 12L pot
1.5m-2.5m tall after 10 years
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How to grow

Esk Sunset is easy to grow and is an excellent choice for exposed sites, including coastal situations, where it should survive where others may not. However it does best if planted in full sun in a sheltered location.

It can be hard-pruned at any time to control size and shape, but the best time to prune is over the summer. It remains a small tree, much less vigorous than other forms of this species.

Esk Sunset characteristics


  • Attractive features: Attractive tree / plant Attractive foliage Variegated foliage
  • Height 10 years: 2.5m-3.5m / 8ft-12ft
  • Growth habit: Upright-spreading
  • Growth rate: Slow
  • Vigour: Weak growing
  • Site conditions: Coastal site Windy site
  • Sunlight: Prefers full sun
  • Useful for: Small spaces
  • Pruning: Prune hard
  • Gardening skill: Beginner


  • Country of origin: New Zealand
  • Leaf colour: Pink-white-green variegated
  • Annual cycle: Deciduous

Similar varieties

  • See also Brilliantissimum
    Acer pseudoplatanus
    A distinctive dwarf sycamore, named for the colour of its stunning pink spring leaves.