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Acer (negundo)

Jan Schultz
Forest Plant Ecologist
USDA FS - Hiawatha National Forest
1030 Wright Street
Marquette, Michigan 49855
906.228.8491
906.228.4484 (fax)
jschultz@fs.fed.us
http://plant-materials.nrcs.usda.gov/copmc/

Family Scientific Name: Aceraceae
Family Common Name: Maple Family
Scientific Name: Acer negundo L.
Common Name: Box Elder
Species Code: ACENEG
General Distribution: Woody, understory shrub or small tree. Broadleaf, deciduous. Flowers yellow to green. Swamp forests, shores, and banks, spreading aggressively. Small trees and shrubs common along fencerows, sidewalks, railroads, ditches, waste places.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Time To Grow: 0
Propagule Collection: Seed is collected by hand from locally native plants within the eastern central Upper Peninsula. Flowers in May. Male and female flowers are on separate plants. Double samara splitting to individual mericarps. Seed is harvested in late June. The fruits may stay on the plant wntil February.
Propagule Processing: Remove the pulp off the berry as soon as possible after picking, stripping off the pulp. Dry seeds for 1 week. Once seeds have dried begin stratification.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Stratification: Mix an equal amount of seeds with either perlite or vermiculite. Add a small amount of water. (There should be no visible water within the bag or container). Place in a room temperature environment for 2-3 months followed by a refrigerator or cold garage (33-42 degrees F) for at least 3-6 months. Cold store until planted (up to 3 years).
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Propagation Environment: Greenhouse film is made of Standard U.V. 3 HL Clear 6 mil (J.R. Johnson's Greenhouse Supply Inc). Fans run continuously to circulate the air. Vents open during the summer months for cooling. Container Type: grows best in 24 cell (2" diameter) 14"x8.5"x4" deep flats, and other flats with 2" diameter or more and depths of 4" or more. Sowing Media: Scotts Redi-earth Plug and Seedling Mix. Contains vermiculite, and sphagnum peat moss. Soil is sterile.
Thoroughly moisten the soil with water, mixing in the water with a trowel. Cover the holes in the bottom/sides of the plug tray cells with newspaper so that the soil does not fall out. Fill cells with damp soil and press soil down with a spoon. Refill the cell plugs with soil to the top, this time not pressing it down. Water the soil in the plug cells again. Sow the seeds by hand at a rate of about 1 seed in each small cell and 2 seeds in each cell with a diameter greater than 2.5". Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil or gently press the seeds into the dirt. Sow box elder seeds at all times of the year due to their unpredictable germination.
Establishment Phase: From Jan. until Aug. the greenhouse thermostat is set at 65 degrees F both day and night. Ambient greenhouse temperatures may reach 100 degrees F during the day in the summer. From Sept. through Dec. the thermostat is set at 55 degrees F. During this season ambient greenhouse temperatures may reach 75 degees F during the day. The greenhouse holds plants at all stages of growth so the temperature setting stays the same for all the plants at all stages of growth. Soil is kept consistently damp during germination. Water using a fine mist or light hose setting only. Newly planted trays are placed on the south side of the greenhouse. No artificial light is used.
Active Growth Phase: The soil does not need to be consistently moist. Move trays to cooler north greenhouse tables. No fertilizers are used.
Hardening Phase: In early-late spring, mature plants can be moved into a cold frame with a cover of material that diffuses sunlight to prevent scorching of the plants. When danger of frost has passed, leave plants outside. Water less frequently.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: In the Upper Peninsula, flats are planted from late May to early October. Flats that are not planted in the summer remain in the greenhouse for another season.
Other Comments: Adaptable to most sites and is easy to transplant.

Citation:

Schultz, Jan; Beyer, Patty; Williams, Julie. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Acer negundo L. plants USDA FS - Hiawatha National Forest Marquette, Michigan. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2020/08/11). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.





 
 
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