February - October
20.0 - 23.0
The only tree in Louisiana with opposite, compound leaves except the ashes. Its green to purple twigs have a glaucous bloom, its leaf scars are V-shaped. Look alikes include ash and poison ivy.
The seeds ripen from August to October and may be cleaned by hand. Cleaned seeds average 11,800 per pound. Seeds may be planted in fall or stratified in sand at 41 degrees F for 90 days, to break dormancy, then planted in spring (Vines). Seeds may be planted in fall. Young trees are easily transplanted.
Seeds are eaten by many songbirds and squirrels. This tree serves as a special value to honeybees and as a larval host for the Cecropia silkmoth.
A short lived tree, easily damaged by storms, insects and fire. Called "bois puant" by Acadians (Holmes 1990), it occurs throughout the state in floodplains, woods, river banks, fencerows and waste places. It invades prairie in the absence of fire and is found primarily in wet prairie and along gallery forests. It is often used as shelter belt plantings in the prairie states. When tapped for sap it produces a palatable syrup. The inner bark can be dried and used as flour in emergency situations (Chase 1965).
Low woods, floodplains and stream banks.
Plains Indians made sugar from the sap. When sugar was scarce, prairie settlers sometimes tapped this tree to make maple syrup.