Variegated Box Elder (Maple), Large Trees
- A maple, not really an elder.
- Green leaves with cream margin & pink tinge.
- Any soil except chalk.
- Sizes: Standards only.
- Max. Height: 10-20m
- Bareroot Delivery: Nov-Mar.
Acer negundo Flamingo: Bareroot Variegated Box Elder (Maple) Trees in Standard Sizes
Variegated Box Elder is not an elder at all, but a maple. It is a fast-growing, round headed tree with a dense but fairly narrow canopy, suitable for a small garden, especially because it is really intended for pollarding, which produces a constant supply of new shoots that are more attractive than older growth.
Its pink young shoots and foliage mature into green centred leaves with a creamy margin and a variable pink blush.
They can reach a height of about 6 metres.
Delivery season: Box elder trees are delivered bareroot during late autumn and winter, approximately November-March inclusive.
Choosing a size: Small trees are cheaper, easier to handle and more forgiving of less than ideal aftercare, so they are best for a big planting project. If instant impact is your priority, or if you are only buying a few plants for use in a place where it is convenient to water them well in their first year, then you may as well use bigger ones. All our bareroot trees are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the roots aren't measured).
- Height: 5-7m
- Ideal for pollarding
- Soil: Absolutely any except shallow chalk.
- Variegated leaves with a pink tinge when young that recedes to the margins
- Sterile, produces no seeds
- Bareroot delivery only: November-March
Growing Flamingo Box Elder
A classic pioneer species, it will grow on pretty much any soil from a dry sandy pile of construction debris to a swamp: it only struggles on rocky chalk, but alkaline soil in general is fine. We really recommend planting it in full sun for the best foliage, but it will tolerate partial shade.
Almost everyone pollards this tree, in which case reversion (when the leaves on a stem losing their variegation) will not be an issue because you prune it every year. If you spot reversion on a non-pollarded tree, removed the affected stems immediately, before the problem spreads.
It is resistant to honey fungus.
Did You Know?
The species North American, and this variety was bred in Holland in the 1970's by J. Bastiaanse.
Despite the name Box Elder, it is a maple and if you look at the leaves, which grow in groups of three, you can see that they are like a normal maple leaf that has been divided into thirds, with a tiny bit of stalk separating the segments: this slightly resembles an elder leaf.
People sometimes ask why Latin and Greek based botanical names for plants are necessary. Acer negundo is a perfect example of one of the reasons.
In its native North & Central America, it is widespread and has a fistful of common names that could lead a confused person to wonder whether it is an Ash, a Maple or an Elder.
The maple names include Boxelder, Ash, Ash-leaf, Cutleaf, Negundo, Red River, and Three-leaved Maple.
The ash names are Black, Maple, Stinking, or Sugar Ash.
Finally, it is known as Californian or Western Boxelder. In many parts of the world, it is referred to as American Maple, although Canadians call it Manitoba Maple: enough! This is why it really helps to have one botanical name for each plant, although even this isn't perfect: botanical names can be changed, but old books can't (Winston would beg to differ...or would he?), so some plants acquire a few scientific names, often because variants within a species are sometimes described as separate sub/species. When there is a debate over such close classifications, taxonomists arm wrestle over them at the bar in their office until the science is clear.
Standard trees are measured by their girth in centimetres 1 metre above ground level: their trunk's waist measurement. Unlike sapling trees and hedge plants, standards aren't measured by their height, which will vary quite a bit both between and within species.
So, a 6/8cm standard tree has a trunk with a circumference of 6-8cm and an 8/10 standard has a trunk 8-10cm around. This measurement makes no difference to the tree's final height.
On average, standard trees are 2-3.5 metres tall when they arrive, but we cannot tell you precisely how tall your trees will be before we deliver them.
Notes on planting Acer negundo Flamingo trees:
Acer negundo Flamingo is tolerant of dry, poor or compacted soils and also grows by water or in sites that are prone to occasional waterlogging. It won't grow on chalk.
A site with full sun is best, as too much shade may cause your plants to revert back to ordinary green leaves - cut out any stems that you see doing this.
Flamingo Box Elder is recommended for places that suffer from honey fungus.
Prepare your site before planting:
It is good to dig over the site where you plant a tree several months in advance. Kill the weeds first: for tough weeds like nettles, brambles and ground elder, you will usually need a weed-killer to get rid of them. When you dig the soil over, remove stones and other rubbish and mix in well rotted compost or manure down to the depth of about 2 spades.
Watch our video on how to plant a tree for full instructions.
Remember to water establishing trees during dry weather for at least a year after planting.
Tree Planting accessories:
Prepare your site for planting by killing the weeds and grass with Neudorff WeedFree Plus.
You can buy a tree planting pack with a wooden stake & rubber tie to support the tree and a mulch mat with pegs to protect the soil around the base of your tree from weeds and drying out.
We suggest that you use mycorrhizal "friendly fungi" on the roots of all newly planted large trees: if your soil quality is poor, we strongly recommend it.
You can also improve your soil with bonemeal organic fertiliser and Growmore.