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Protocol Information

John M. Englert
Natural Resources Conservation Service - Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center
Bldg. 509, BARC - East, E. Beaver Dam Road
Beltsville, Maryland 20705
(301) 504-8175
(301) 504-8741

Family Scientific Name: Aceraceae
Family Common Name: Maple Family
Scientific Name: Acer negundo
Common Name: box elder
Species Code: ACENEG
Ecotype: Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
General Distribution: Chiefly western U.S. but found in east also, Vermont to Florida. Found in moist alluvial soil, along streams.
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Seed
Product Type: Bareroot (field grown)
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Bare root seedling.
Height: 6” – 4'.
Root System: Information not currently available.
Propagule Collection: Seed has been collected at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Sugar Run, from late September to late October.
Propagule Processing: Seed Processing: Information not currently available.
Seed Storage: Seeds are stored dry in plastic or paper bags in a cooler at 40F, 35% relative humidity.Seeds/Kg: 23,000 to 25,200.
Germination: Approximately 7-16% of seeds planted survive to harvest, depending on year.
Purity: 100%.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seed has embryo dormancy and low pericarp premeability (USDA, 1974)Seed Treatments: Seed is imbibed in water overnight. Seeds are dusted with fungicide prior to planting outdoors in the fall where they undergo natural stratification.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:

Propagation Environment: Outdoor nursery beds.
Seed Propagation Method: Hand-sowing seed in rows.
Establishment Phase: Sowing Date: December.
Seedlings emerge the following spring after fall sowing.
Sowing/Planting Technique: Seeds are dusted with fungicide and hand sown into rows. Endo-mycorrhizae are sprinkled over the seed before covering with 1/4 - 1/2 inch of soil. The beds are then mulched with aged sawdust. Screening against rodents may be necessary.
Sawdust mulch is scraped back in spring prior to seedling emergence. Newly emerged seedlings are monitored closely for irrigation needs.
Active Growth Phase: Rapid Growth Phase: Because National Plant Materials Center soil is a nutrient poor sandy loam, seedlings are fertilized from mid-April with a granular 10-10-10 once a week through early June. From mid-June through late July, the 10-10-10 is alternated with a granular urea every other week. From late July through late August the seedlings are fertilized with 10-10-10 every two weeks. Overhead irrigation is used after every fertilization. The rate of water applied is determined by soil moisture prior to irrigation.
Hardening Phase: Hardening Phase: During mid- to late summer, fertilization is cut back to twice monthly. Beginning in September, irrigation is only used in a severe droughty situation.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: Two years from sowing in the woody beds to harvest as bare root seedlings.
Harvest Date: Dormant bareroot plants are harvested in early to mid-December.
Storage Conditions: Bareroot plants are bundled into groups of 25 (or whatever is manageable), and long roots are trimmed. Bundles are placed into plastic bins with drainage holes. The roots are covered with sawdust and the bins are placed into cold storage (40ºF) and watered as needed during the winter. Dormant, gallon-sized container plants are stored outside under microfoam after leaf fall. Clean, well-containers are overlapped on their sides on weed barrier fabric, and covered with a microfoam insulating blanket. Rodenticide baits are placed at intervals under the blanket before it is secured with rope and rebar.
Length of Storage: Storage Duration: December to mid-March.
Outplanting performance on typical sites: Outplanting Site: Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.
Outplanting Date: March.
References: Brown and Brown. 1992. Woody Plants of Maryland. Port City Press, Inc.

Gleason, H and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. 2nd edition. New York Botanical Garden.

USDA, Forest Service. 1974. Seeds of Woody Plants in the United States. USDA, Ag. Handbook 450.

USDA NRCS National Plant Materials Center. Woody bed and container plant records. Unpublished data.

Kujawski, Jennifer; Davis, Kathy M. 2002. Propagation protocol for production of field-grown Acer negundo plants; Natural Resources Conservation Service - Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center, Beltsville, Maryland. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 2 September 2015). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.

Protocol Information

Jan Schultz
Forest Plant Ecologist
USDA FS - Hiawatha National Forest
1030 Wright Street
Marquette, Michigan 49855

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
Product Type: Container (plug)
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.

Schultz, Jan; Beyer, Patty.; Williams, Julie. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of container Acer negundo L. plants; USDA FS - Hiawatha National Forest, Marquette, Michigan. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 2 September 2015). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.