Box Elder (Acer negundo) AY-sir ne-GOON-doe

Other Names Ash-leaved maple, maple ash, Sugar Ash, Black Ash
Family Sapindaceae
Description

A species of maple native to North America, the Box Elder is a small, fast-growing short-lived tree growing up to 80 feet tall. Unlike most maple trees, the Box Elder has pinnately compound leaves of 3-7 leaflets, more like is typical in Ash trees. Tolerant of wet soil. In shady conditions will grow non-vertically toward light which can be problematic as tree gets older.

Named Cultivars Acer negundo 'Auratum', Acer negundo 'Aureomarginatum', Acer negundo 'Baron', Acer negundo 'Rubescens', Acer negundo 'Sensation', Acer negundo 'Variegata', Acer negundo 'Violaceum'
Plant Data
I am a... Deciduous Perennial Tree
Where to Find It There are mature Box Elder at the west and east edges of the woods, as well as seedlings growing elsewhere. Because the area has been partly cleared, it's easiest to see Box Elder from the easternmost path near Crow Island School.
How to Recognize It The Box Elder is actually a maple tree, but its leaves are pinnately compound like an Ash... a feature recognized in several common names (like "Ash Maple", "Sugar Ash" and "Black Ash") for it. In less than full sun, trees can be strongly non-vertical as the tree grows towards sunlight. In the spring, the pollen-bearing male flowers look like bundles of delicate tassels. The paired samaras (seeds) develop the typical "Maple helicopter" shape.
Why to Like This midwest native is very tolerant of the sometimes wet soils we have here in Crow Island Woods. It's not especially ornamental, though Box Elder trunks tend to be interestingly crooked under shady conditions, as they try to grow toward the light. The samaras are often eaten by birds, squirrels, and other animals. Con: The tree is prolific with its seeds!
Mature Size 30 - 80 feet tall. 30 - 80 feet wide.
Growth Rate Fast
Sun Exposure Full Sun - Full Sun
Moisture Tolerance - Wet:
Zones 2a - 10b
Tags Wet Site Tolerant
Bloom Period March to April
Flower Color Greenish-Yellow
Foliage Color
Animals That Use It

Buds:

Seeds:

 
Data Sheets
   In the Landscape Focused on the Plant Leaves Flowers Fruit Fall Leaf Winter Form
 
 

More Photos: Google Image Search & Flickr

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