This batch of wood comes from a friend of mine, who had a tree die a few years back. Upon cutting it up for disposal, he saw it had neat colors, and asked if I would like any. Yes please!
Box Elder is in the maple family, but is an oddity in having compound leaves; so instead of one leaf per stem, it has between 3 and 7. The wood is very soft (Janka 720), and lightweight – I see now why so many places “harden” or try and stabilize the wood before sale. Streaks of pink or red is common in the heartwood; this stems from the tree’s natural defense to injury. Stems… get it?