Box Elder

Acer negundo

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Box Elder fruits are samaras very similar to those of Velvet Ash, but the samaras come in pairs that turn into little helicopters when released to the air. Box Elder is a maple, very closely related to Sugar Maple of northeastern North America and the Big-tooth Maple, native to the Southwest. Box Elder is typically a higher elevation riparian tree, especially common in the canyons draining the Mogollon Rim. The bark is light gray-brown, almost tan and shallowly furrowed.