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Acer negundo

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
AY-ser neg-UN-doh
Description

Boxelder is a maple with the greatest range of all maples. In North Carolina, it grows from the upper coastal plain into the piedmont and mountain regions.   It is dioecous, or has both male and female trees; the male trees are more prized because they are less messy.  It is fast growing so as a result as week, brittle wood.   Its leaves are pinnately compound and there are often 3 leaflets present resembling poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans).  Tolerates most situations but not shade, prefers moist locations, often found along waterways, flood plains and wooded areas.  It is relatively short-lived, can be weedy.  It has little commercial value other than as a pulp tree.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Boxelder bugs eat seeds on female trees but cause little other damage, borers.  Anthracnose, powdery mildew, and canker.  Weak branches break in high wind or heavy snow load.  

Quick ID Hints:

Opposite, odd-pinnately compound leaves with 3-5 leaflets (different than other maples)

2-4 inches long, lobed, serrated leaves

bright green leaves

Cultivars:
  • 'Flamingo'
  • 'Kelly's Gold'
    Shorter, highly branching with golden foliage
  • 'Variegatum'
  • 'White Lightning'
Tags:
#deciduous#weedy#tree#maple#samaras#windbreak#playground#brittle wood#wind screen#buffer
Cultivars:
  • 'Flamingo'
  • 'Kelly's Gold'
    Shorter, highly branching with golden foliage
  • 'Variegatum'
  • 'White Lightning'
Tags:
#deciduous#weedy#tree#maple#samaras#windbreak#playground#brittle wood#wind screen#buffer
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Acer
    Species:
    negundo
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central and North America
    Distribution:
    Across the US
    Play Value:
    Buffer
    Wind Screen
    Dimensions:
    Height: 30 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 30 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Samara
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Samara, appearing in September or October, 1 - 1 ½" long almost twice as long as other maples. Greenish yellow initially, brown finally; fruit persists into winter and are not particularly attractive.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Green
    Insignificant
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Dioecious. Male trees have more attractive flowers - yellow-green corymbs, early bloomer. Blooms March-April.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Description:
    Opposite, pinnately compound, 3-5 leaflets (can be 7-9), ovate or lanceolate, 2-4" long, serrated, lobed, bright green leaflets. Petiole is 2-3" long. Underside of leaf is lighter in color and pubescent. Fall color is not showy.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Light Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Round
    Bark Description:
    Similar to that of an ash tree, composed of marrow-brown, rounded, interlocking ridges.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Hairy
    Stem Bud Terminal:
    Cluster of terminal buds
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Leaf Scar Shape:
    Encircles a bud
    Stem Description:
    New growth is lustrous green. Older stems are green to reddish to brownish, waxy covering that can be scratched or rubbed off, leaf scars surround stem.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Pollution
    Problems:
    Messy
    Weedy