Acer Negundo "Flamingo"

Discussion in 'Maples' started by justjoan, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. justjoan

    justjoan Member

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    I'm receiving conflicting opions on these 5 little trees I have
    recently purchased. Is this just a weed tree? I've been told
    it has a short life, any ideas what might be considered
    "short". They seems rather pretty when I bought them.
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Some of the Acer family gets a bit of a bad rap. Some are labeled as wed trees or pavement killers and the like. Negundo is one that can have fast growth, surface roots, "weak" branching, but is otherwise a pretty tree in the eyes of some beholders.. My advice would be to keep it away from sidewalks and driveways, 8 to 10 feet is probably a reasonable distance. Make sure you get a good scaffold structure in the early years , no narrow crotches and codominant leaders if possible. Don't feed the tree unless it demands nutrients, fertilizer can promote excessive lush growth which isn't a great thing necessarily. If you want a smaller tree with similiar color (not so much pink though) you may consider Acer palmatum Orido Nishiki, Acer p. Butterfly or Acer p. Floating Clouds (speckled leaves).
     
  3. justjoan

    justjoan Member

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    Thankyou for your quick response. Can you tell me anything
    as to the lenght of life it might have. I have 5 of them and was
    considering putting them along a gravel driveway, no pavement
    or cement in the area.
     
  4. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I looked through a few books ( Dirr, Manual of Hardy Trees and Shrubs, Van Gelderen - Maples of the world) and neither refer to the lifespan of Acer negundo at all, Dirr does mention the fact that the parent species, Acer negundo (parent of Flamingo cultivar) is one of the best maples at surviving adverse conditions but can become weedy.
     
  5. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    A weed tree? Perhaps, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and if you like it, that should be enough reason to keep it.

    The species, Acer negundo, is commonly known as box elder or (in Manitoba), Manitoba maple. I grew up with it in my backyard, and it is tenacious! It's tough to kill, suckers if cut down, is hardy in Manitoba winters and produces many seedlings which germinate (and grow) in poor soil. I don't have any experience with it (or the cultivar 'Flamingo') in the Pacific maritime climate, though.

    The lifespan of the species in Manitoba, if I recall correctly, is roughly 30 to 40 years (which I suppose would be "short-lived" for many trees).
     
  6. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    "but is otherwise a pretty tree in the eyes of some beholders.. "

    I agree, the beholder holds the true opinion.. :)
     
  7. justjoan

    justjoan Member

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    Thanks for your help. I am going to plant them this weekend along the driveway in very poor soil but with a goodly amount of
    water when the rains come back. They will be on a slopeing driving, with no standing water.
    Now... if I could just get someone to answer
    my query about collecting rhodo seeds. Again... thankyou !
     
  8. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Active Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    Notwithstanding all of the excellent advice already doled out on this subject, one of the reasons that Acer negundo 'Flamingo' gets a bad rap is its propensity to "revert."

    Reversion describes "normal" growth arising alongside the "fancy" growth of a fancy plant. With 'Flamingo' and all other variegated (fancy-leafed) cultivars of A. negundo, the variegated tissue is a specific mutation known as a "sectorial chimera." In the apical meristem (picture a cap with vertical stripes all converging at the peak), lines of cells are either normal (green) or mutated (variegated). If a sector (say 10% of the vertical cell lines), is normal, and a branch eventually grows out of it, it will not carry the variegation. No big deal, except that the variegated branches are significantly less robust than the green, and the green will eventually take over the entire tree. If you don't believe this, look for mature variegated Acer negundo. They are exceptionally rare, despite rather brisk sales for the past 50 years or so.

    Obviously, timely pruning of the green sprouts is of the utmost importance. The sooner the green is removed the better behaved will be the tree. Inspect the plants thoroughly during the growing season. Rub out any buds that you think are too green and cut off any green shoots just above the branch collar (the thickened ridge at the base of the branch where it attaches to the parent branch). Do not cut into the collar as this will reduce the ability of the tree to heal the wound effectively.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Kerry

    Kerry Member

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    Acer negundo "flamingo": sun exposure & water needs

    Thanks to all for the valuable information already posted. I have 3 flamingo cultivars, planted in June in ok (not great soil) at the top of a small slope. Healthy at first, they've been regularly watered except for a stretch during our hot summer (they get full sun for much of the day). Now one is doing well, but the other two have a lot of brown crispy leaves and only a few more hydrated looking leaves. I've had a little reversion (nipped it early), and color is ok.

    I know variegation may take a while to cycle, but I'm more concerned with the overall health of the trees, and whether there's anything I can so short of moving them (ugh). I may be overwatering now out of guilt for the summer burn, too. Any thoughts on sun and water for this cultivar? Thanks much.
     
  10. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I have one of these little trees (the 'Flamingo' cultivar) which I have had for 20 years now. It was beautiful at first, but has now almost totally reverted to green, and has become leggy and unattractive
    I am not inclined to plant another one :(
     
  11. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I think based on the various posts that there is some
    confusion with this Maple. Flamingo itself has not
    been around in the nursery trade all that long yet
    but Tricolor has been around a long while. It is
    Tricolor that has a tendency to revert much more
    than Flamingo does. Also, Flamingo has a more
    defined pink coloration in the leaf than Tricolor
    has.

    Flamingo was introduced as being an improved
    version of Tricolor and it is. Flamingo can tolerate
    heat and hot winds a little better. Does not sucker
    nearly as much, is more tolerant of alkaline soils
    and holds its color and shape of the tree better
    when young. To call either one of these trees a
    weed tree makes me wonder who has been growing
    these trees or has anyone that called them a weed
    tree ever really grown them. I am completely
    dumbfounded by the weed tree designation for
    this Maple in some of our books (forms of Poplar,
    okay, I can go along with some forms but I do not
    think there will be many people calling a Quaking
    Aspen in the Fall or a nice shaped Chinese Tallow
    in the Fall, weed trees). There is a 35' tall with
    almost proportionate width round headed Tricolor
    just a mile from the misses home that none of you
    would not wish to have for yourself.

    Jim
     

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