Black Gum Tree - Knowledgebase Question

Des Moines, IA
Question by MISSOKAY
February 26, 1999
Can you provide information on Black Gum Trees? Are they fast or slow growers, do they produce seeds, what is the average mature height and width?


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Answer from NGA
February 26, 1999

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The Black Gum Tree (Nyssa sylvatica) is one of the best lawn trees for fall color. They are slow to moderate growing trees (2'-6' per year) reaching 35'-50' in height and 15'-25' in width at maturity. The growth habit is pyramidal when young and spreading and rugged in age, with crooked branches and red-tinged bark. Trees have dark green glossy leaves, inconspicuous flowers and bluish-black fruit shaped like small olives. The fruit is attractive to birds. Black Gum trees grow in full sun, average soil and little water but will tolerate soggy, wet soils.

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