Summer 2024You can now pre-order for next season. Deliveries will begin again in September for pot grown trees and December for bare-rooted or mixed tree orders.
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Esk Sunset

Acer pseudoplatanus
Esk Sunset is listed in the RHS Plants for Pollinators

This small sycamore maple tree has perhaps the most exotic leaf colours of any maple, and offers interest from spring right through to autumn.

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.

Greenish-yellow flowers appear in April - May but have little ornamental value - however they produce large quantities of pollen and nectar and are very popular with bees.

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 maple trees for sale

  • Top-worked pot-grown tree £75.00
    In a 12L pot
    Medium size (2.5m-3.5m after 10 years)
You can now pre-order for next season.

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 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 characteristics

  • Gardening skillBeginner
  • Attractive featuresAttractive tree / plantAttractive foliageVariegated foliage
  • Growth habitUpright-spreading / Vase
  • Height after 10 years2.5m-3.5m / 8ft-12ft
  • SunlightPrefers full sun
  • PruningPrune hard
  • Growth rateSlow
  • Site conditionsCoastal siteWindy site
  • WildlifeRHS Plants for PollinatorsMelliferous
  • Leaf colourPink-white-green variegated
  • Country of originNew Zealand
  • Annual cycleDeciduous

Similar varieties

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