Boxelder
(Acer negundo)

Bark | Twigs | Leaves | Fruit | Outstanding Features
Red Maple | Silver Maple | Black Maple | Box Elder | Sugar Maple

Boxelder is native to portions of the southern tier and Susquehana Valley, but has become more broadly established throughout many parts of the state. Boxelder grows commonly along the banks of streams and rivers, and may occur as a weedy species in urban areas where its seeds are able to germinate. Boxelder has a soft wood that has no commercial value, but is important for wildlife and the stabilization of stream banks where it grows. Boxelder is not recommended for horticultural plantings.

Bark - smooth on younger trees but soon developing narrow ridges and shallow furrows. Ridges and furrows are interlacing. Bark on mature trees is dark brown.

Twigs - moderate to very stout, smooth and covered with a waxy film giving the twig a shiny green to purple color.

Winter buds - white and covered with a hairy scale. Buds held tightly against the twig. Buds are located on the twig within leaf scars having a "v-shaped" notch.

Leaves - pinnately compound and opposite, usually 5 leaflets; often resembles poison ivy, which has alternate, pinnately (3 leaflets) compound leaves.

Fruit - large clusters of V-shaped samaras; mature in autumn

Outstanding features - pinnately compound leaves, purple to green twigs, ridged and furrowed bark

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