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ACER negundo

Image of Acer negundo

Jesse Saylor

Family

Aceraceae

Botanical Name

ACER negundo

Plant Common Name

Ash-Leaved Maple, Boxelder

General Description

Box elder is a medium-sized to large, fast growing, short-lived deciduous tree native to many regions in North America. Typically low-branched with furrowed light gray to gray-brown bark, it bears bright green, compound leaves with three or sometimes five leaflets. Inconspicuous greenish yellow flowers emerge with the leaves. Male and female flowers occur on separate trees. Box elder is rarely grown as a landscape tree due to its weedy, weak-wooded nature, but a few cultivars with unique ornamental features are available, including 'Variegatum', which has ivory variegated leaf margins.

Box elders are tolerant of a wide range of soils, fertile or poor, wet or dry, but do best when grown in full to part sun. These trees tend to self sow, so avoid planting them near beds and borders. Most practical use could be as a windbreak row. Unique cultivars may be planted as specimen trees.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    2 - 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

    30'-50' / 9.1m - 15.2m (40)

  • Width

    20'-30' / 6.1m - 9.1m (25)

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring

  • Native To

    North America, United States, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, North-Central United States, Central United States, South-Central United States, Texas, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site, Pollution, Drought, Soil Compaction

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Red, Yellow Green, Dark Red

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Yellow Green, Brown

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Fissured

  • Usage

    Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes