Discovered in 2013, the mottled albino redwood is the rarest and most unusual albino redwood known. With only three examples found to date, this mutation's random pattern of coloration is like no other. Sometimes appearing like leopard spots or appearing “dipped in paint” as coined by Zane Moore, the mottled albino is truly unique. The reason for the odd coloration is because it’s known as chlorophyll delayed mutation. Over time parts of the albino foliage will revert back to green giving the tree its splotchy color pattern.
In June 2016 we received the sad news that the mottled tree pictured below was inadvertently cut down. That left only two of these types of trees in existence. Unfortunately, most redwood mutations that are removed this way happen because owners believe the foliage is dead. It's for this reason that we at Chimera Redwoods strive to educate property owners on the importance of protecting these trees.
As you can see here the variegation has no organized pattern and appears random.
Despite the loss of the mottled albino redwood above, there is a silver lining to the story. In the fall of 2016, a third mottled albino was discovered in Sacramento County. This tree unlike the other two exhibits a frost-like appearance as if flocked ready for Christmas. The coloration on this tree appears very similar to NCV albinos (non-chimeric variegation) but produces foliage that can change colors over time. Like other mottled albino redwoods, branches on this tree can produce white foliage one year, then revert green in the second. This is the tell-tail sign of a chlorophyll delayed mutation and the traits seen in mottled albino redwoods.
Thankfully we had a chance to speak with the owner who now understands the importance of such a rare & unique tree. Propagation efforts are underway to genetically archive this one-of-a-kind redwood.