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Box Elder
Acer negundo
  
About Box Elder (Acer negundo) 36 Nurseries Carry This Plant Box elder (Acer negundo), sometimes called boxelder, is a type of maple tree commonly found growing in moist areas near streams and rivers. Box elder is a deciduous tree with pinnate compound leaves (small leaflets that branch out of a single stem). The leaves turn yellow in the fall. Clusters of small flowers appear in spring. The flowers on female trees develop winged fruits called samaras. The flowers attract pollinators and the seeds provide food for birds and small mammals.

Box elder is an attractive tree that provides shade and visual interest in the landscape. Some gardeners prefer male box elders because they are less messy than female trees. Gardeners should also be aware that this tree sends out suckers which can become weedy and invasive. This fast-growing tree needs a large planting area as it can reach over 50 ft tall?and nearly as wide?when mature. It also requires a moderate to high level of moisture, including weekly supplemental irrigation in summer.

Box elder gets its name from its wood, which is used to make boxes and crates. The wood pulp is used in paper making. Like other maples, the tree's sweet sap can be cooked into a syrup.
Calscape, ‌Schmidt, M.G, Greenberg, K.L. (2012). Growing California Native Plants (2nd ed.). University of California Press, Missouri Botanical Garden. Acer negundo. “Acer Negundo - Plant Finder.” Www.missouribotanicalgarden.org, www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=a841. “Acer Negundo (Ash-Leaf Maple, Boxelder), North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox.” Plants.ces.ncsu.edu, plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/acer-negundo/. ‌ ‌
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Tree

Size
Size
35 - 66 ft tall
40 ft wide

Form
Form
Upright

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Fast

Dormancy
Dormancy
Winter Deciduous

Flower Color
Flower Color
White, Cream

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Wildlife Supported
 
Attractive to many beneficial insects

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Part Shade, Full Sun

Moisture
Moisture
Moderate - High

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / week once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to -15° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Medium, Slow

Soil Description
Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils as long as adequate moisture is present. Soil PH: 5.0 - 8.0

Common uses
Common uses
Bird Gardens, Deer Resistant, Butterfly Gardens

Companion Plants
Companion Plants
Use with other riparian trees such as Maples (other Acer sp.), Alders (Alnus sp.), Dogwoods (Cornus sp.), Ash (Fraxinus latifolia or velutina), Northern Black Walnut (Juglans hindsii), Cottonwood (Populus sp.), Sycamore (Platanus racemosa), Willows (Salix sp.), Black Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), and Bay Laurel (Umbellularia californica)

Propagation
Propagation?
For propagating by seed: Scarification and 2-3 mos. stratification; use fresh seeds.

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7*, 8*, 9*, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
River/stream edges and wet places in coastal mountains and the central valley, usually as part of a woodland or forest complex

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 5.4" - 63.5", Summer Precipitation: 0.14" - 2.62", Coldest Month: 28.8" - 55.2", Hottest Month: 56.0" - 79.6", Humidity: 0.14" - 27.71", Elevation: 3" - 7419"

Alternative Names
Botanical Names: Acer negundo var. californicum
Common Names: Ashleaf Maple, Boxelder Maple, California Boxelder, Manitoba Maple, Maple Ash


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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