Acer Esk Sunset
When I originally planted out The Shrubbery I shifted in the ornamental tree Esk Sunset (actually its label says Esk Sunset No. 2). Naturally I put roses underneath - not my finest gardening moment, as the soil quality was poor, the irrigation barely reached, and there was simply not enough sunshine. Enough for the tree, luckily...
And the reason I planted the tree? One of my silliest. A metal stake sat in the middle of the new garden, a relic of earlier days and sheep fences. So I decided it needed a tree, and planted Esk Sunset No 2. alongside it. Didn't give a thought to what the tree needed!
OK, so the roses have not survived, but the tree has, with a little help in summer from a dripping water hose. Its variegated leaves have beautiful colours - spring brings shades of pink and orange, by mid-summer the green tones have taken over, with splashes of cream and touches of tan brown.
Esk Sunset is an Acer pseudoplatanus, and North American nurseries claim that Esk is short for eskimo. So the tree gets catalogued as Eskimo Sunset. However, in New Zealand there is an Esk Valley in New Zealand, and my local nurseries say that my tree was a chance seedling from this area. And since the label clearly says 'No 2', I assume it was the second seedling with this variegation. Whatever the truth, for me it's a well-behaved, beautiful ornamental tree. And just about tough enough to survive my neglect!
Esk Sunset No 2 Variegated Foliage
By the way, I bought Esk Sunset No 2 for my birthday back in September 2006. My goodness that tree is getting quite old...
Esk Sunset Tree