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Author Topic: box elder  (Read 488 times)

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Offline farmfromkansas

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box elder
« on: December 23, 2018, 06:59:48 PM »
Could someone explain how to identify a box elder tree during winter?  Know I have some, because there is dead wood around, with the distinctive color, every time I think i have identified one, turns out to be elm when I cut into it.

Offline DPatton

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Re: box elder
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2018, 09:28:11 PM »
The boxelder is in the sapindaceae family with the scientific name being Acer negundo. It is prone to growing in wet lowland areas. Large mature specimens in the midwest have bark similar to our mature silver maples. However if you look at the twigs on a silver maple there will be bud clusters, whereas twigs from a boxelder will have bright red single oppositely arranged buds instead of bud clusters. Elms have alternately arranged buds on their twigs. 
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Offline WDH

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Re: box elder
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2018, 08:54:06 AM »
Box elder is one of a few trees that have photosynthetic twigs.  The twigs will be very bright green, not brown like most twigs.  Also, as pointed out, the buds and leaves are arranged opposite each other on box elder, which is part of the maple family.   Those green twigs and opposite branching are distinctive.  Elms are alternately branched and do not have green photosynthetic twigs.

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Offline TKehl

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Re: box elder
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 03:19:36 PM »
Not all Box Elder will be flamed.  Just curious if that is what is making you think it's elm...

At least here (West Central MO) the bark is quite a bit different then Elm and from a distance the Box Elder is more vase like in form with the Elms being straight with the occasional fork.  

I can also count on one hand the number of Box Elder I've found on our land.  Whereas in the summer time, I may knock down 10-20 scrub Elms for TSI & fodder.

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