"Blackgum or Black Tupelo is a native deciduous tree that... can reach 50 to 80 feet tall, but typically reaches 20 to 30 feet in cultivation. Trunk diameter is typically 1 to 2 feet, but can reach 4 to 5 feet in taller specimens. It tolerates many soil types and moisture conditions, but is slow-growing, reaching about 12 to 15 feet in about ten years, growing faster with a good watering and fertilizer schedule. It is found in dry upland forests (occasionally bottomlands), savannas, swamp margins, and upland depressions that are occasionally flooded. It can also be found in the hills and mountains on dry slopes with oaks and hickories. The Blackgum is grown as an ornamental for its beautiful, scarlet red, fall color and for its shiny, dark green leaves in the summer.
"It has a flowering habit that is polygamodioecious, meaning that some plants have mostly male flowers while others have mostly female flowers, with most plants having a few perfect flowers. This would account for some plants being loaded with egg-shaped blue-black berries, while others may only have a few berries. The tree does well in average, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. It prefers moist, acidic soils, but is adaptive and tolerates poorly-drained soils and standing water, some drought and some dry soils, at least in the wild. Female trees need a male pollinator to set fruit. The nectar from the flowers is sought after by bees and Tupelo honey is highly prized.
"This tree is an excellent choice to support wildlife in the landscape. However, it should be sited in a permanent location because its long taproot makes it difficult to transplant later. It is tolerant of drought, heat, dry and wet soils, and is moderately salt tolerant. It withstands wind, ice, and salt spray in coastal locations." (North Carolina Extension)
Spring new growth
Nyssa Sylvatica (Blackgum, Black Gum, Black Tupelo, Nyssa, Pepperidge, Sour Gum) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox. https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/nyssa-sylvatica/. Accessed 10 Feb. 2022.
Spring new growth image: "File:Baden-Baden-Nyssa sylvatica-66-Tupelobaum-bei Rive Gauche-Zweig-2012-gje.jpg" is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
Common Name: black gum
Native Range: Eastern North America
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 30.00 to 50.00 feet
Spread: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Greenish white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Street Tree, Rain Garden
Leaf: Good Fall
Tolerate: Clay Soil, Wet Soil
Information and images compiled by Erik N. Vegeto
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