According to observations of naturalists and beekeepers.
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200 kilograms per ha
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Boxelder is widespread in riparian and palustrine communities throughout most of the contiguous United States. Its range extends from New Jersey and central New York west through extreme southern Ontario, central Michigan, northern Minnesota, central Manitoba, central Saskatchewan, southern Alberta, and central Montana, eastern Wyoming, Utah, and California; and south to southern Texas and central Florida. It is also local in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Idaho, and Nevada. Boxelder has been naturalized in Maine, southern Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and in southeastern Washington and eastern Oregon. Varieties of boxelder occur in the mountains of Mexico (Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, and south to Chihuahua) and in Guatemala.
This plant is present in at least 60 states/provinces in this country.
Boxelder is a native deciduous small to large tree with an irregular form. The trunk often divides near the ground into a few long, spreading, rather crooked limbs, which branch irregularly to support a broad, uneven crown. When growing among other trees, boxelder forms a high, open crown, with the undivided portion of the trunk much longer and usually straighter than that of an open-grown tree. This variable-sized tree may reach 70 feet (21 m) in height and 3 feet (0.92 m) in diameter but is more often medium-sized, from 40 to 50 feet (12-15 m) high and from 1 to 2 feet (0.3-0.6 m) in diameter. Boxelder may also appear as a large shrub, and in upland soil, on the Great Plains, this tree is usually only about 25 feet (8 m) high with low, crooked branches.
Boxelder has a fast growth rate and a short life span; it typically lives for 75 years, with 100 years maximum longevity. Growth is rapid when young; long, smooth, green annual shoots extend 2 feet (0.6 m) or more in a year. At maturity, growth slows and brittle trunks and limbs shatter; old trunks frequently put out clusters of sprouts and sometimes develop large burls.
A drought-tolerant tree once established, boxelder's roots are shallow and spreading, except on deep soils. The bark is light gray and smooth but becomes furrowed into narrow, firm ridges and darkens with age. Twigs are stout, light green to purplish or brownish with a polished look or are often covered with a whitish bloom that is easily rubbed off. The blunt buds are 0.125 to 0.25 inch (2-5 mm) long with one or two pairs of scales and are coated with fine white hairs.
Boxelder is the only maple with divided leaves. The three to seven leaflets are from 6 to 15 inches (15-38 cm) long, light green above and greyish green below, usually without hairs. The leaflets are shallowly lobed or coarsely toothed. This completely dioecious tree has pale green male and female flowers with a strongly pronounced reduction of flower parts and contain no rudimentary parts of the opposite sex. Male flowers are on slender stalks in loose clusters and female flowers are arranged along a separate stem.
The fruit is composed of two fused, winged samaras which eventually separate upon shedding. The angle separating the two wings is less than 60 degrees. The samaras, about 1.5 inches (4 cm) long, hang in long chains on slender stalks, mature in autumn, and remain on the tree well into the winter. Each contains a single seed without an endosperm. Seeds are 2 to 3 times as long as they are wide and are markedly wrinkled.
Boxelder flowers from March through May with or before the appearance of the leaves. The fruit, a winged samara, ripens from September through October and is dispersed from September through March.
Boxelder's leaves turn a dull yellow color in the autumn and drop throughout the fall and winter.
Salix lucida (aka: Shining willow, Greenleaf willow, Tail-leaf willow, Whiplash willow, Pacific willow, Lance-leaf willow, Longleaf willow, Red willow, Western shining willow)
Prunus pumila (aka: Sandcherry, Western sandcherry, Eastern sandcherry, Great Lakes sandcherry)
Salix bebbiana (aka: Bebb willow, Beak willow, Beaked willow, Long-beaked willow, Diamond willow, Chaton, Petit Minou, Smooth Bebb willow)
Acer platanoides (aka: Norway maple)
Salix lutea (aka: Yellow willow)
Vaccinium angustifolium (aka: Lowbush blueberry, Early low-bush blueberry, Low sweet blueberry)
Rubus canadensis (aka: Smooth blackberry, Thornless blackberry, Canadian blackberry, Smooth highbush blackberry)
Robinia pseudoacacia (aka: Black locust, False acacia, Yellow locust, White locust, Green locust, Post locust, Falsa acacia, Robinia)
Catalpa speciosa (aka: Northern catalpa, Hardy catalpa, Western catalpa, Cigar tree, Catawba-tree, Bois chavanon)
Rhamnus cathartica (aka: Common buckthorn, European buckthorn, Dahurian buckthorn)
Acer pensylvanicum (aka: Striped maple, Moosewood, Goosefoot maple, Whistlewood)
Salix amygdaloides (aka: Peachleaf willow, Peach leaf willow)
Acer spicatum (aka: Mountain maple, Low maple, Moose maple, Water maple, Plaine batarde, Fouereux)
Malus ioensis (aka: Bechel crab, Crab apple, Iowa crab, Iowa crab apple, Prairie crab, Prairie crab apple)
Astragalus (aka: Milkvetch, Locoweed, Goat's-thorn)
Rubus idaeus (aka: Raspberry, Black-haired red raspberry, Brilliant red raspberry, American red raspberry, Red raspberry, Smoothleaf red raspberry, Wild raspberry, Wild red raspberry, Grayleaf raspberry)
Rubus parviflorus (aka: Thimbleberry, Western thimbleberry)
Rhus glabra (aka: Smooth sumac, Common sumac, Rocky Mountain sumac, Red sumac, Western sumac, White sumac)
Allium schoenoprasum (aka: Chives)
Sinapis arvensis (aka: Charlock mustard, California rape, Charlock, Corn mustard, Canola, Kaber mustard, Rapeseed mustard)
Gleditsia triacanthos (aka: Honey locust, Honey shucks locust, Common honeylocust, Sweet bean locust)
Aronia melanocarpa (aka: Black chokeberry, Rowan, Mountain Ash, Sorbus)
Prunus serotina (aka: Black cherry, Wild black cherry, Rum cherry, Mountain black cherry, Wild cherry)
Prunus pensylvanica (aka: Pin cherry, Fire cherry, Bird cherry)
Asclepias tuberosa (aka: Butterflyweed, Butterfly Milkweed, Orange Milkweed, Pleurisy Root, Chigger Flower, Canada root, Fluxroot, Indian paintbrush, Indian posy, Orange root, Orange Swallow-wort, Tuber root, Yellow milkweed, White-root, Windroot, Butterfly love)
Tilia americana (aka: American basswood, Basswood, Linden)
Rubus chamaemorus (aka: Cloudberry, Bake apple, Baked apple berry, Bakeapple, Nordic berry, Knotberry, Aqpik, Low-bush salmonberry, Averin, Evron)
Amorpha fruticosa (aka: Desert false indigo, False indigo-bush, Bastard indigobush, Indigo Bush)
Asclepias syriaca (aka: Сommon milkweed, Butterfly flower, Silkweed, Silky swallow-wort, Virginia silkweed)
Brassica rapa (aka: Field mustard, Common mustard, Wild mustard, Wild turnip, Forage turnip, Wild rutabaga, Birdsrape mustard, Rape mustard)
Cirsium arvense (aka: Creeping Thistle, Canada thistle, Field thistle, California thistle, Lettuce from hell thistle, Corn thistle, Cursed thistle, Green thistle, Hard thistle, Perennial thistle, Prickly thistle, Small-flowered thistle, Way thistle, Stinger-needles)
Echium vulgare (aka: Viper's bugloss, Blueweed, Blue thistle)
Agastache foeniculum (aka: Giant hyssop, Blue giant hyssop, Anise hyssop, Fragrant giant hyssop, Lavender giant hyssop)
Chamaenerion angustifolium (aka: Fireweed, Great willowherb, Rosebay willowherb, Saint Anthony's Laurel, French-willow)
Borago officinalis (aka: Borage, Starflower, Common borage, Cool-tankard, Tailwort)
Prunus virginiana (aka: Chokecherry, Western chokecherry, Common chokecherry, Black chokecherry)
Diervilla lonicera (aka: Northern bush honeysuckle, Bush-honeysuckle, Dwarf bush-honeysuckle, Herbe bleue)