The Box-Elder is in the Maple family.  In many parts of the world it is used for erosion control and wind breaks.  Reaching heights of 30-60 feet, it is rounded in form and often forked.  Seeds of his tree are used as food by many species of birds and mammals.  The wood is often brittle.  The bark is soft and forms in small block or diamond shaped ridges separated by deep, narrow fissures.