Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac Information Center

Is This Poison Ivy?

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Submitted by:  Marcos
Date Submitted: May 3, 2003
Location: not given

Question Asked: I am not sure what this plant/tree is, but it does show that characteristics of Poison Ivy (except the leaves are not that shiny? What do you think.

Answer: Marcos, thanks for an excellent picture. This is not poison ivy, it is an Ashleaf Maple (aka Boxelder). You're right about the characteristics in the leaf but there are some key differences. I'm assuming this is a very young tree and in time you'll be able to see more of the differences. Notice that there are branches (blue-green in color) coming from a main stem (green in color). As the tree ages, you'll notice the lower portion of the trunk will become brownish in color and rougher. Also, some of the leaflet sets will have anywhere between 3 and 7 leaflets.

I'm working on a new section on this website about similar plants. Here's my info on the Ashleaf Maple.