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ACER negundo 'Kelly's Gold'

Image of Acer negundo 'Kelly's Gold'

James Burghardt

Family

Aceraceae

Botanical Name

ACER negundo 'Kelly's Gold'

Plant Common Name

Boxelder, Kelly's Gold Boxelder

General Description

Box elder is a short-lived deciduous tree native to many regions in North America. Although sometimes scorned as an ornamental plant because of its weak wood and its penchant for self-sowing, it has given rise to many attractive cultivars. Introduced in 1989 by Duncan and Davies Nursery in New Zealand, 'Kelly's Gold' has three-parted, lemon-yellow leaves with contrasting red stems. The leaves hold their color through summer. Fall color is usually unremarkable. A female selection, it produces inconspicuous greenish yellow flowers in spring which give rise to clusters of winged fruit that mature from green to red-brown. Typically low-branched, this small tree has green twigs and furrowed light gray to gray-brown bark.

Box elders are tolerant of a wide range of soils, fertile or poor, wet or dry. This cultivar may be planted as a specimen tree in a lawn or park-like setting.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    25'-40' / 7.6m - 12.2m

  • Width

    20'-40' / 6.1m - 12.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring

  • Native To

    North America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow Green

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Burgundy

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Yellow, Lemon Yellow

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Yellow, Chartreuse

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Yellow Green, Brown

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Fissured

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes