My uncle worked at a nursery that bred a variegated sugar maple. He gave one to my dad- the other few that the nursery had went back to all green. My dad's maple gets a few green leaves at a time that he is quick to prune off of it, claiming that the whole thing will go green if he allows them to stay (they do show up in clusters). The tree is now maybe 25 years old, a bit small for a maple of that age, but otherwise healthy.
My uncle's other maples were not pruned thusly and all went green.
has anyone heard of such a leafing behavior?