Friday, April 10, 2015

Meet The "Box Elder" (Acer negundo)

The Box Elder -Acer negundo-  is a small often bushy deciduous tree.  Often times called an Ashleaf Maple since it has no similarities to the Box Tree or The Elderberry.
Image Citation:(?) John Ruter, University of Georgia,

 It has a very vast growth range Growing as far North as New York, Michigan, Saskatchewan, and Alberta Canada- As far South as Texas, Mexico and Guatemala-Crossing the Rocky Mountains in Montana and going as far West as New Mexico, Arizona and small portions of California.

Image Citation:(?) Jan Samanek, State Phytosanitary Administration,

The foliage color varies based on the local and can vary from a rich gloss green to a more yellow hue.  The flowers are yellow in color and are slender hanging in bunches.  Male and female flowers appear on different trees.  It is mainly found growing wild near streams, valleys and roadsides in most of the Eastern US.
Image Citation:(?) Paul Wray, Iowa State University,

This tree is also a widely planted landscape tree, although it is sometimes considered a weedy tree because of it's bushy growth habits and attractiveness to insects.  The leaves of the Box Elder are often injured by the sucking of young bright red Boxelder Bugs.  Mature Boxelder Bugs are a familiar sight, they are grayish black in color with three red lines on their back.  Some of the other insects these trees can be affected by the Elder Borer, the Boxelder Leaf Roller, the Boxelder Pouchgall Mite and the Elder Aphid.

Boxelder Bugs (Juvenile & Mature)
Image Citation:(?) Kansas Department of Agriculture Archive,

Boxelder Leafroller
Image Citation:(?) USDA Forest Service - Ogden Archive, USDA Forest Service,

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