Box Elder cultivar sports
"sensational" fall color
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Sensation Box Elder (Acer negundo ‘Sensation’) is the best known plant discovery of Warren Carnefix, the Idaho plantsman and nurseryman whose family will mark 100 years in the nursery industry this year.

A colorful and unique selection of the rugged and adaptable North American native species, Sensation has proven over the years to be a handsome performer for harsh climates. Soft coppery-red foliage greets the spring with a burst of color before it matures to a refreshing medium green color. The compound leaves retain a hint of copper beneath the green through the summer before unleashing their brilliant display of bright red tones in the fall.

Box elders, also known as Manitoba Maples, have always been considered tough trees for tough climates. Sensation is no exception, having earned a USDA Zone 4b hardiness rating in our Reference Guide.

After thorough testing at Fruitland Nursery in Idaho, Carnefix sent us samples to evaluate for possible wider distribution.

Impressed with its performance in our experimental blocks, we propagated the new cultivar and added it to our catalog in 1993. It has been a good seller ever since, according to Keith Warren, Director of Product Development.

The seedless nature of this male clone makes it less attractive to box elder bugs, a pesky but harmless insect that feeds on the flowers of female trees and take refuge in houses in the fall. A more mannerly growth habit and improved branch structure results in as tough and adaptable tree that is less susceptible to storm damage than the species. During 30 years under average urban growing conditions, Sensation is estimated to grow in a rounded shape to a height of approximately 30 feet and spread of 25 feet.

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