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Box Elder Ash-leaved Maple




=Habitat and Range.=--In deep, moist soil; river valleys and borders of

swamps.



Infrequent from eastern Ontario to Lake of the Woods; abundant from

Manitoba westward to the Rocky mountains south of 55 deg. north

latitude.



Maine,--along the St. John and its tributaries, especially in the French

villages, the commonest roadside tree, brought in from the wild state

according to the people there; thoroughly established young trees,

originating from planted specimens, in various parts of the state; New

Hampshire,--occasional along the Connecticut, abundant at Walpole;

extending northward as far as South Charlestown (W. F. Flint in lit.);

Vermont,--shores of the Winooski river and of Lake Champlain;

Connecticut,--banks of the Housatonic river at New Milford, Cornwall

Bridge, and Lime Rock station.



South to Florida; west to the Rocky and Wahsatch mountains,

reaching its greatest size in the river bottoms of the Ohio and its

tributaries.



=Habit.=--A small but handsome tree, 30-40 feet high, with a diameter of

1-2 feet. Trunk separating at a small height, occasionally a foot or two

from the ground, into several wide-spreading branches, forming a broad,

roundish, open head, characterized by lively green branchlets and

foliage, delicate flowers and abundant, long, loose racemes of

yellowish-green keys hanging till late autumn, the stems clinging

throughout the winter.



=Bark.=--Bark of trunk when young, smooth, yellowish-green, in old trees

becoming grayish-brown and ridgy; smaller branchlets greenish-yellow;

season's shoots pale green or sometimes reddish-purple, smooth and

shining or sometimes glaucous.



=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds small, ovate, enclosed in two dull-red,

minutely pubescent scales. Leaves pinnately compound, opposite; leaflets

usually 3, sometimes 5 or 7, 2-4 inches long, 1-1/2-2-1/2 inches broad,

light green above, paler beneath and woolly when opening, slightly

pubescent at maturity, ovate or oval, irregularly and remotely

coarse-toothed mostly above the middle, 3-lobed or nearly entire; apex

acute; base extremely variable; veins prominent; petioles 2-3 inches

long, enlarging at the base, leaving, when they fall, conspicuous

leaf-scars which unite at an angle midway between the winter buds.



=Inflorescence.=--April 1-15. Flowers appearing at the ends of the

preceding year's shoots as the leaf-buds begin to open, small,

greenish-yellow; sterile and fertile on separate trees,--the sterile in

clusters, on long, hairy, drooping, thread-like stems; the calyx hairy,

5-lobed, with about 5 hairy-stemmed, much-projecting linear anthers;

pistil none: the fertile in delicate, pendent racemes, scarcely

distinguishable at a distance from the foliage; ovary pubescent, rising

out of the calyx; styles long, divergent; stamens none.



=Fruit.=--Loose, pendent, greenish-yellow racemes, 6-8 inches long, the

slender-pediceled keys joined at a wide angle, broadest and often

somewhat wavy near the extremity, dropping in late autumn from the

reddish stems, which hang on till spring.



=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy throughout New England; flourishes best in

moist soil near running water or on rocky slopes, but accommodates

itself to almost any situation; easily transplanted. Plants of the same

age are apt to vary so much in size and habit as to make them unsuitable

for street planting.



An attractive tree when young, especially when laden with fruit in the

fall. There are several horticultural varieties with colored foliage,

some of which are occasionally offered in nurseries. A western form,

having the new growth covered with a glaucous bloom, is said to be

longer-lived and more healthy than the type.






1. Winter buds.

2. Branch with sterile flowers.

3. Sterile flower.

4. Branch with fertile flowers.

5. Fertile flower.

6. Fruiting branch.






Next: Basswood Linden Lime Whitewood

Previous: Striped Maple Moosewood Whistlewood



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