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Edible uses


The sap contains a reasonable quantity of sugar and can be used as a refreshing drink or be concentrated into a syrup[1][2][3][4][5]. The syrup is used as a sweetener on many foods. The sugar content is inferior to A. saccharum according to one report[6] whilst another says that it is highly valued as a producer of sweet sap[7]. The sugar from the sap of this tree is said to be whiter than that from other maples[7]. To obtain the sap, bore a hole on the sunny side of the trunk into the sapwood about 1 metre above the ground at anytime from about January 1st until the leaves appear[8]. The flow is best on a warm day after a frost[9]. The best sap production comes from cold-winter areas with continental climates. Inner bark - raw or cooked. It can be dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or be added to cereal flours when making bread, cakes etc[10]. The inner bark can also be boiled until the sugar crystallizes out of it[10]. Self-sown seedlings, gathered in early spring, are eaten fresh or dried for later use[9]. Seeds - cooked. The wings are removed and the seeds boiled then eaten hot[9]. The seed is up to 12mm long and is produced in small clusters[4].

Inner bark


Unknown part

Material uses

The leaves are packed around apples, rootcrops etc to help preserve them[11][12]. A fairly wind-tolerant tree, it can be used in mixed plantings as a part of shelterbelt plantings[13]. Wood - soft, weak, light, close grained. It weighs 27lb per cubic foot[14]. Of little commercial value, it is used for boxes, cheap furniture, pulp, fuel etc[2][3][4][6][15]. Large trunk burls or knots have been used to make drums[10].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

A tea made from the inner bark is used as an emetic[16][10].

Unknown part


Ecosystem niche/layer


Ecological Functions



Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it usually germinates in the following spring. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours and then stratify for 2 - 4 months at 1 - 8°c. It can be slow to germinate. The seed can be harvested 'green' (when it has fully developed but before it has dried and produced any germination inhibitors) and sown immediately. It should germinate in late winter. If the seed is harvested too soon it will produce very weak plants or no plants at all[17][18]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until they are 20cm or more tall before planting them out in their permanent positions. Layering, which takes about 12 months, is successful with most species in this genus. Cuttings of young shoots in June or July. The cuttings should have 2 - 3 pairs of leaves, plus one pair of buds at the base. Remove a very thin slice of bark at the base of the cutting, rooting is improved if a rooting hormone is used. The rooted cuttings must show new growth during the summer before being potted up otherwise they are unlikely to survive the winter. The cuttings of this species usually root easily. Budding onto A. negundo in early summer usually works well. The bud should develop a small shoot in the summer otherwise it is unlikely to survive the winter.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Acer negundo. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Of easy cultivation, succeeding in most soils[19] but preferring a rich moist well-drained soil and a sunny position[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils and in sandy soils[20]. Plants often become chlorotic on very alkaline soils[19]. Plants are hardy to about -18°c[19]. A fast growing but short-lived tree in the wild, living for 75 - 100 years[6][15]. It is fairly wind-tolerant[13], but the branches have a tendency to break in strong winds[21]. This species is cultivated commercially in Illinois for its sap[7]. Another report says that this is one of the least productive species for sugar[21]. A very ornamental plant[22], there are several named varieties[13]. This tree is a bad companion plant that is said to inhibit the growth of neighbouring plants[11][12]. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[23][13]. Very tolerant of pruning, it can regenerate from old wood if it is cut back hard[19]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Acer negundo. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Acer negundo.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Acer negundo
Imported References
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
  • Inner bark (Unknown use)
  • Leaves (Unknown use)
  • Sap (Unknown use)
  • Seed (Unknown use)
  • Unknown part (Sweetener)
Material uses
  • Unknown part (Musical)
  • Unknown part (Preservative)
  • Unknown part (Wood)
Medicinal uses
  • Unknown part (Emetic)
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
21 x 8
Flower Colour
Flower Type


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  3. ? Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (32202/01/01)
  4. ? Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America. Dover Publications Inc. New York. ISBN 0-486-20278-X (32202/01/01)
  5. ? 5.05.1 McPherson. A. and S. Wild Food Plants of Indiana. Indiana University Press ISBN 0-253-28925-4 (32202/01/01)
  6. ? Vines. R. A. Trees of Central Texas. University of Texas Press ISBN 0-292-78958-3 (32202/01/01)
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  8. ? 8.08.1 Harrington. H. D. Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains. University of New Mexico Press ISBN 0-8623-0343-9 (32202/01/01)
  9. ? Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (32202/01/01)
  10. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-257
  11. ? Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (32202/01/01)
  12. ? Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (32202/01/01)
  13. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (32202/01/01)
  14. ? 14.014.1 Britton. N. L. Brown. A. An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada Dover Publications. New York. ISBN 0-486-22642-5 (32202/01/01)
  15. ? Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (32202/01/01)
  16. ? 16.016.1 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (32202/01/01)
  17. ? McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed. Grower Books ISBN 0-901361-21-6 (32202/01/01)
  18. ? Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (32202/01/01)
  19. ? Davis. B. Climbers and Wall Shrubs. Viking. ISBN 0-670-82929-3 (32202/01/01)
  20. ? Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (32202/01/01)
  21. ? 21.021.1 Lauriault. J. Identification Guide to the Trees of Canada Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Ontario. ISBN 0889025649 (32202/01/01)
  22. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (32202/01/01)
  23. ? RHS. The Garden. Volume 112. Royal Horticultural Society (32202/01/01)
  24. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-43

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