Sour gum or black tupelo is an irregular growing deciduous tree native to eastern North America. The green oval leaves are usually wider at the tip than at the base and turn bright red in the fall, often with leaves sporadically changing yellow or orange i late summer. Sour gum is unique in that although different sexed flowers appear on separate trees, male trees may also set some fruits which resemble small bluish-black olives. Birds relish these fruits but they can be quite messy on decks and driveways. The flowers are an excellent nectar source for bees.
Sour gum is difficult to transplant because of its deep taproot. Therefore, plant this tree from containers when young and allow it to establish. It likes deep, moist, acidic, well drained soils but can tolerate poor drainage and drought. It has been found to be happily growing in fairly compact urban soils, as well along lakes and streams. This makes a lovely specimen shade tree, but is even more dynamic when planted in small clusters. (source:learn2grow.com)
Genus - Nyssa
Species - Sylvatica
Common name - Blackgum
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 5 - 8
Height - 50'-70' / 15 - 21(60) m
Spread - 25'-35' / 7 - 10(30) m
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Slow
Soil PH - Acidic
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Well Drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Feature Plant, Shade Trees, Street Trees
Bloom season - Summer
Leaf / Flower color - Green / Yellow Green
1. Soak in water for 24 hours.
2. Cold stratify for 90 days.
3. Fill a ~8-12 cm (3-5") deep seed-starting tray with a mixture of equal parts sterile seed-starting mix and coarse, clean sand. Seed-starting flats are commonly made of plastic materials and are sold at home and garden stores. Use a flat that has drainage holes in the bottom.
4. Plant the seeds 6 mm (1/4") deep and 5 cm (2") apart in the seed-starting mix. Smooth the soil over the seeds. Place the tray in a water bath that comes about halfway up the side of the tray. Leave the tray in the water until the soil at the top of the seed tray is damp.
5. Place the seed tray where the temperature is between +23-+29C (75-85F). Bright, filtered, indirect light is ideal for germinating gum tree seeds.
6. Transplant the seedlings into individual pots when the seedlings have two leaves. Fill 20 cm (8") pots with potting soil in preparation for transplanting.
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