Boxelder

Acer negundo L.


     

   

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Family:  Aceraceae

Native or Introduced to Illinois:  native 

Leaf:  Opposite, pinnately compound, 3 to 5 leaflets (sometimes 7), 2 to 4 inches long, margin coarsely serrate or somewhat lobed, shape variable, green above and paler below.

Flower:  Dioecious; yellow-green, in drooping racemes; appearing in April and May.

Fruit:  The winged seed is similar to the other maples but occurs in drooping clusters which mature in the fall and remain on the tree for several months.

Twig:  The twigs are green to purplish, covered at first with bluish white bloom and later becoming smooth and shiny. The branching is opposite.

Bark: The finely ridged bark is grayish to dark brown in color sometimes with a greenish tinge.

Size/Form/Shape:  The boxelder is a fast growing , wide spreading, short stemmed tree of irregular shape.  It is of medium size and under favorable conditions it attains a height of 50 to 80 feet and a diameter of 24 inches. 

County Distribution Map for Illinois:  

 

Sources for the Sullivan Middle School Tree Identification Guide were obtained though the use of the following sites: