Scientific Name: Acer negundo
Family Name: Aceraceae
Tree: Boxelder is a small tree, only growing from 30 60 ft. (9 - 18 m.), and the trunk's diameter is up to 2.5 ft. (.8 m.).
Identifying Characteristics: Boxelder bears a strong resemblance to poison ivy, but it is recognizable because poison ivy's only growth form is as a vine, whereas boxelder's only growth form is as a sapling and then a tree.
Location: We found Boxelder on the Brandeis University growing inside the quadrangle formed by the science complex, next to the Kalman building. This particular example of boxelder grew from a very inhospitable habitat of concrete.
History and Comments: Boxelder is native to the United States, but not to Massachusetts. It spread to Massachusetts, because it prefers to grow in disturbed lands, particularly in cities, and such areas proliferate in Massachusetts. Boxelder wood is weak, causing the tree to be short lived and to break during storms.