Trees and Shrubs forum: Sassafras Trees - Good or Bad for a Back Yard?

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Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
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blue23rose
Aug 30, 2016 12:06 PM CST
Does anyone have any good or bad experiences to share regarding sassafras trees?

We have a volunteer sassafras growing in front of where our oak tree had to be cut down. We are thinking of keeping it since I saw on some sites that it has very nice fall color. It is between 2-3 feet high and has a good center trunk that I believe we can train into a nice tree. I don't know that much about sassafras in the landscape and would love to hear from anyone who have experience with them in their yards.
My concerns are:
1) Reading about the drupes on the female trees has me a little wary. Are they messy? Don't know if we have a male or female.
2) Some sites say that the branches break easily in wind and ice storms.

Thank you!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Sep 7, 2016 2:08 PM CST
The drupes are small, and the birds eat them as quick as they are ripe...
Most people never even see the fruit!

I don't notice the limbs being a problem... except the time I had a climbing bean on one of them.

Good Spring colour too!

Thumb of 2016-09-07/stone/37642b

Found a neat saddleback caterpillar on sassafras once... otherwise look for Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillars.

Very desirable wildlife plant...

About the only thing that anyone might find objectionable is when they send up sprouts from the roots... and there are far worse offenders in the landscape.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
Sep 7, 2016 9:33 PM CST
Thank you very much, Stone. That makes me feel much better about letting it grow. Good spring color as well as fall is wonderful!

I was actually hoping to try making sassafras tea. So if I see little starts, that would be fine with me.
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Sep 8, 2016 4:07 PM CST
Not too sure about the tea concept...

After you read about why they took sassafras out of root beer... maybe you'll be less inclined to dig up the roots...
I do still use the leaves in my cooking, though.

Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
Sep 8, 2016 7:44 PM CST
Hmmm. Have not heard about using the leaves in cooking. What do you put them in? Sounds like I have some research to do, lol!

I did read about the FDA banning the use of it commercially. But I would still like to try the tea. I think, like other lab tests performed, the lab rats were given large doses of safrole. I think in moderation it will be okay.
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Sep 9, 2016 6:48 AM CST
I actually have made root tea on occasion....
File' is good in about anything savory...
So all my soups and stews....

Down in louisiana they add it to gumbo... I prolly wouldn't call my stews gumbo... Although.... I'm not sure what the difference is.... Crawdads and sausage, and clams and stuff, probably. Tomatoes and okra, probably.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
Sep 9, 2016 12:00 PM CST
Sounds like I may have to try it in my vegetable soup. I need to read up on it more though. Since we are going into fall and this little tree is only 2 feet tall, I don't want to damage it by using it just yet.
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
(Zone 8b)
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sallysmom
Sep 10, 2016 12:35 PM CST
We had one pop up next to a pine tree. It is so close that it can't be moved. Anyway, I love seeing when it gets its fall colors. Mine will probably never get over 3 feet tall due to how close it is to the pine.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
blue23rose
Sep 11, 2016 7:50 AM CST
Aw, what a shame, sallysmom. But I am glad that yours has pretty fall colors. Fall color and other good things has convinced me that we need to keep this little tree Thumbs up
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown

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