Acer Negundo

Acer negundo is known by various names like Box Elder and Boxelder Maple, Three leaf Maple, Ash Maple, Sugar Ash, Negundo Maple, and River Maple. It is a small but fast growing tree that grows up to ten to twent five meters tall. It has very long life. The shoots are green, often with a whitish to pink or violet waxy coating when young. Unlike most other maples it has pinnate leaves that have three to seven leaflets. The leaflets are about five to ten cm long and three to ten cm wide with slightly serrate margins. Its flowers are small and appear in early spring on drooping racemes ten to twenty cm long. The seeds are paired samaras, each seed slender, one to three cm long, with a two to three cm incurved wing; they drop in autumn or they may persist through winter. Seeds are usually both prolific and fertile. Although its weak wood, irregular form, and prolific seeding might make it seem like a poor choice for a landscape tree, A. negundo is one of the most common maples in cultivation and many interesting cultivars have been developed like Auratum, creamy yellow leaf margins, Hardier & seedless variety, distinctively convex leaves etc. It is native to North America but it is considered an invasive species in some areas of that continent. It can quickly colonize both cultivated and uncultivated areas and it has become naturalized in eastern China. The range is therefore expanding both in North America and elsewhere. It can also be found in some of the cooler areas of the Australian Continent where it is listed as a pest invasive species.