This is a fast-growing and very brittle tree. It's not very pretty, as it grows numerous sucker shoots that immediately reappear the next year, even after pruning. It always looks untidy.
This tree is a favorite food of the box elder bug, a pretty, flat-topped insect that has orange stripes on a black background. When it appears, it is usually in large numbers and has a tendency to crawl up walls. If your box elder tree is near the house, you’ve probably seen them in spring. They are hard to miss. Don’t worry, they won’t damage your house and they won’t kill your tree. But these bugs underfoot and up your walls can be a bit unnerving.
This is a favorite wood among wood turners. It is milky white with a gorgeous blood-red core. This highly contrasting wood tone creates fabulous multi-colored bowls. However, the red color lasts only a few years, and then gets dull. Too bad! It’s a real show-stopper when it is only a few years old.
Bark: Chris Evans, Bugwood.org
Leaves: Paul Wray, Bugwood.org
Flowers: Jan Samanek, State Phytosanitary Administration, Bugwood.org
Seeds: Paul Wray, Bugwood.org