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Audubon® Box Elder
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Boxelder (or Box Elder) is a familiar sight along watercourses, roadsides, forest edges, and even vacant lots in the city. Birds everywhere are happy about that! Its bright green leaves, early to appear in spring, host a vast array of caterpillars that nourish insectivorous songbirds like robins, orioles, and warblers. Female trees produce seeds loved by Evening and Pine Grosbeaks. What’s more, with age, soft Boxelder trunks often give way to decay, making homes for cavity-nesting birds such as woodpeckers. For eco-friendly gardens and wild and semi-wild spaces, Boxelder is an easy, accommodating choice!
May Benefit & Attract: Thrushes, orioles, warblers, grosbeaks, and woodpeckers
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
Size AA (2-3' tall) container grown
- Hardiness Zone: 2-10
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The adaptable Boxelder Tree has established a native range that extends all over the U.S. and into southern Canada (where it is known as “Manitoba Maple”), as well as into northern Mexico. In the wild, it typically springs up near streams and wetlands, where it stabilizes the soil and prevents erosion. It also manages quite well in dry soil, providing valuable shade in the Plains states. Fun fact: Boxelder can be tapped for syrup, like Sugar Maple! Although its leaves look like Poison Ivy (they are not itchy), it is actually a Maple Tree.
Boxelder is a super-fast-growing tree. With plenty of sun and water, it can shoot up three feet or more per year in its youth. With its typically low, wide-spreading branches, will quickly become a top-notch climbing tree for the kids.
How to Grow
Plant your Boxelder in full sun for best results, although light shade is acceptable as well. A moist site will yield the fastest growth. Boxelder tends to be a short-lived tree, but occasionally you’ll spot a massive specimen growing somewhere, so it’s clear that isn’t always the case. One issue you may encounter with your Boxelder Tree is Boxelder bugs. These orange-red and black insects gather in large groups in the fall, looking for a warm place to overwinter. They’re considered a nuisance, although they’re harmless to people, pets, plants, and trees. They eat the seeds of Boxelder.
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