Sunday, January 22, 2012

Box Elder - Acer negundo

Winter Tree Identification is quite challenging and fun.  I have so much fun knowing what the trees are in the winter.  The trees I do not recognize, I will get out my books and computer and figure it out.  

The Winter Box Elder can be identified by looking at the twigs and bark. 

On the twig, leaf scars meet in a raised point and you will see the leaf scars circling the stem.

Buds are covered in whitish hairs.  The terminal bud is pointed, reddish, woolly.

Twigs are greenish to purple and slender and hairless.  They grow opposite each other on the branches.

Epicormic branches can be seen sticking out on the trunk; they are usually green.  These are little random branches that just stick out on the trunk.

The bark will be smooth while the tree is young.  The tree will develop bark that is gray brown with interlacing ridges and furrows.

Here is my drawing/interpretation of a Box Elder Twig.  I am learning to draw and it has been really fun drawing nature.  If anyone is inspired to draw a Box Elder twig and send it to me, I would love it.

Box Elder Twig
Rebecca Priddy
My favorite Box Elder lives at the Asheville Botanical Gardens.  It is on the left hand back side of the nature center office and store.  

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