Boxelder (Acer negundo L.) stand development- can it serve as a trainer species?This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Boxelder (Acer negundo L.) is a shade-tolerant species commonly found in west Gulf Coastal Plain floodplains. It is a desirable species for wildlife habitat, but has long been considered a “weed” for timber management, especially when regenerating forests to more desirable species. Results from an archived dataset of stem analysis from a variety of bottomland hardwood species showed the successional pathway of boxelder following the pioneer species eastern cottonwood [Populus deltoides (Bartr.) ex Marsh.] on point bars along former Mississippi River channels. We were not able to show trainer effects of boxelder from these two-aged stands. A conceptual model of tree species to plant with red oaks (Quercus spp.) in bottomland hardwood afforestation, along with personal observations of boxelder, were used to develop hypotheses for future boxelder stand development research to determine if boxelder could serve as a trainer species. These hypotheses are based on development in even-aged stands.