Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

BOXELDER
Acer negundo
Aceraceae

Leaves are compound with 3-9 leaflets, opposite, and deciduous. Boxelder is the only pinnately compound maple in the U.S. Twigs are green to purplish-green with white fuzzy lateral buds. Leaf scars are V-shaped. Bark is gray-brown and grooved. Fruit is a double samara that matures in fall. Form is up to 23 m (75 ft) in height and 1 m (3 ft) in diameter. Boxelder has the widest range of North American maples and is found on a range of sites, usually near rivers, lakes, and swamps, in the east and central U.S. It is intolerant of shade. The wood is soft and used for crates and pulp. The seeds are eaten by birds and small animals.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

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