In Arthur Plotnik's Urban Tree Book, Plotnik describes the disheveled boxelder as a "rogue maple" when compared to the more appealing and maple-like sugar, red and Norway maple. These maples express all the loveable characteristics of neatness, crown symmetry and fall color while the bushy, weak-wooded boxelder litters the landscape and considered by some, to be the maple family ugly duckling.
A boxelder's leaf is very different from leaves of other members of the Acer (maple) family. Its leaf has leaflets and is the only North American maple with a compound leaf. The fruit of boxelder is not considered an attractive addition to the landscape and the tree attracts the boxelder bug that can become a nuisance in yards and residences. Here is more information on boxelder - An Introduction to the Boxelder Tree
Boxelder From Ruins, Photo by Steve Nix