box elder (Acer negundo): A tree. “box” because its wood was used to make boxes; “elder” because the leaves suggest those of elderberry.
Box elder is fast-growing, soft-wooded, short-lived. “It typically occurs in moist to wet soils along streams, river flood plains and in low woods” (source). In general, it thrives in open sites on bare soil. So it’s a capable urban pioneer—a street plant.
One of my neighbors is a boxelder. It grows just across the street, on the west side of the warehouse in a corrugated metal corner below the sky, with other tough urban types: Canada thistle, curlycup gumweed and trash.
Box elder with pink thistle, yellow gumweed and cheap throw-away stringer pallets.
Barn swallows roost close by in the evening.
|Swallows all in a row, above door.|
Wildfires are burning 500 miles to the west, so the sky was smoky, with an eerie red sun.
Sun sets behind abandoned cabin and discarded pallets.
This post is my contribution to the August gathering of street plant fans, kindly hosted by Lucy of Loose and Leafy.