Acer negundo

Scientific Name: Acer negundo
Common Name: box-elder
Global Conservation Status: G5 - Secure

3- to 5-parted leaves of box-elder help identify this tree.
Photographer: Sam Sheline

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Box-elder's 3-parted (sometimes 5-parted) leaves could be confused with poison-ivy by their shape. Look at the twigs of this tree to be sure it's box-elder: the twigs are arranged in pairs along its branches, rather than alternating/staggered, the way poison-ivy leaves are arranged along its climbing stems. Box-elder has winged seeds like a maple tree. (Poison-ivy has berries.)

Box-elder is commonplace in the eastern half of the United States, and in select places west to California. It is tolerant of both flooding and drought, and commonly appears on floodplains and slopes associated with streams.