Acer negundo

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Acer negundo L.


Life form: tree
Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun - Exposure: half shade   3

Moisture: moderately moist bis Moisture: wet

Soil: gritty-sandy - Soil: loam - Soil: sandy loam - Soil: gritty loam - Soil: clay - Soil: sandy clay - Soil: loamy clay

Arrangement: opposite
Leaves: decidious

Shape: ovate

Division: imparipinnate


Shape: five-stellate
Fruit: schizocarp

5D / ffe383 

Inflorescence: raceme

Petals: single
Habit: pendant

Canopy: rounded to broadly spreading



Acer negundo, just like its cultivars with variegated leaves, is a popular ornamental tree.


Acer negundo was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.


Acer negundo is a species in the genus Acer which contains approximately 230 to 296 species and belongs to the family of the Aceraceae (Maple Family). The type species of the genus is Acer pseudoplatanus.


Acer negundo - habitus
Acer negundo - leaves
Acer negundo - branches
Acer negundo - fruits
Acer negundo - inflorescence


The trees produce multiple stems and a rounded to broadly spreading canopy . They are comparatively fast-growing and short-lived and reach heights of 15 to 20 metres. The plants reach a width of 10 to 15 metres.

Wood and Bark

The bark is smooth or longitudinally fissured and grey.


Acer negundo is deciduous. The light-green, imparipinnate leaves are opposite. The leaflets are ovate and petiolate. They have serrate margins and cross-venulate venation. The leaves are around 15 to 20 centimetres large and have a puberulent surface. They turn an attractive light yellow in autumn.

Flowers and Fruits

Acer negundo produces racemes of pendant, yellow five-stellate flowers from March to April. The plants flower on older shoots. They are dioecious, pollination takes places by allogamy through the wind and through animals.

In summer the trees produce ornamental brown schizocarps that are persistent on the plant.

Root System

The plants form shallow roots.


Acer negundo is native to North America.


The trees prefer a sunny to half-shady situation on fresh to wet soil. They prefer gritty-sandy, loamy, sandy-loamy, gritty-loamy, clay, sandy clay or loamy clay soil with a pH between 5 and 7,8. The plants need a soil depth of at least 1.02 metres for good growth. They tolerate temperatures down to -40°C (USDA zone 3).

Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber:

  • open areas

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • none: drought, calcareous soil
  • high: city climate


The recommended planting distance is 3,5 to 4 metres. Suited as cemetery plant, avenue tree, specimen plant, greenery along roads, bee pasture and as bird pasture.

Maintenance and Propagation

The plants usually need very little maintenance.


Pests and Diseases

A powdery white coat on the plants indicates an infection with powdery mildew. Remove affected plants and apply a fungicide. To prevent infection improve ventilation, keep the roots moist and do not water the plants from above.

If the leaves have small semi-circular cutouts they most likely have been visited by leaf-cutter bees. No treatment is necessary since these do not inflict lasting damage.


  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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