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The Boxelder (Acer negundo) Story

Acer negundo Common names: boxelder, ash-leaf maple. Plant family: Aceraceae, maple family

Boxelder is a fairly common, rather weedy, tree native to the U.S. A. It is the most widely distributed North American maple, found mostly in the eastern half of the United States up through south-central Canada, but with a scattered range from coast to coast in the U. S. and south to the mountains of Mexico and Guatemala. Boxelder has been naturalized in New England, and eastern Canada; and in Washington and eastern Oregon1.

Description: Boxelder can grow to about 65 ft. (20 m) tall, but more often it is shrubby with no central trunk. It is short lived, about 60 years, and fast growing. The twigs are pale green to green-purple, with waxy bloom, cut plants resprout readily. The winter buds are blue to purplish, densely, finely white-hairy. The bud scales are opposite, and overlapping.

The roots […]

Callery Pear

Bradford Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana ‘Bradford’): Is it really Sterile?

A native of Korea and China, this, now ubiquitous horticultural tree, was first grown from seeds by the USDA Plant Introduction Station in 1963. It is very easy to grow and transplant, has white flowers in spring, leafs out early, holds its leaves well into autumn and has good color in late November. It also resists disease and insects. No wonder it is grown and planted so widely. There is also a story, apparently believed by many landscape architects, that it does not produce viable fruit, in other words, that it is sterile. So no worries about it being invasive, right?

Well, unfortunately, it is not at all sterile. Most individual trees produce crops of small, brown fruit the seeds of which are quite viable. Evidence of this can be seen along Route 440 in south Staten Island in New […]