boxelder
Acer negundo

Boxelder is a common tree of generally small size and great tolerance. It is common in waste areas and is considered by some to be weed-like in nature. It can be used as a street tree in harsh urban environments and a soil stabilizer in disturbed areas.

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Light Fall Color Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Boxelder is used for boxes, rough construction lumber, cheap furniture and woodenwares.


Wildlife Value
      Birds and squirrels eat boxelder seeds. Deer browse plant parts during the fall.
          Attracts: birds, squirrels, deer

Regeneration methods
      Intentional regeneration of boxelder is uncommon. It can sometimes be difficult to keep boxelder from invading sites following disturbance.

Fun facts
Boxelder has little, if any commercial use. The wood is susceptible to storm damage. Native Americans from the Plains used to make a syrup out of the sap - not so sweet as that made from sugar maple sap. Because of its compound leaves, boxelder is sometimes referred to as "ashleaf" maple.
Acer: Latin name - sharp (leaves or used as lances) or Celtic "ac" (hard) / negundo: Latinized form of Malayan name - leaves resemble genus Vitex
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu