Black Gum Tree

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Planting Zones 4-9
Ships November
Bloom Season
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Height At Maturity
Over 20 Feet
Full Sun,
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Ships November
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Black Gum Tree Description

Black Gum Tree 

  Black gum trees make for one impressive springtime spectacle. But, if you haven't noticed, maple trees are not always the dominating tree during foliage season — that honor goes to the black gum tree.


 This tree's dark bark and unusual shape provide a stark contrast to the more familiar sugar maple. The leaves of the black gum are darker in color than their sugar counterparts, and they develop pinkish-purple flowers in mid-spring.


 But there's more to these trees than just the leaves. Though they are related to the sugar maple, they are more closely related to beech trees.


 There is a trunk with two distinct trunks on each side of the tree. The second trunk runs along the ground and ends in a knot. This knot is where the berries are stored after ripening on the branch.


Black Gum Tree Varieties

 Black gum has several varieties, including black gum, swamp black gum, and pepperidge. While there are some minor differences between leaf and bark, they have the same essential characteristics. All varieties have oblong-shaped leaves that alternate and measure between two to four inches long with smooth margins. The fruits are a nearly spherical and about one-half inch wide. Their brownish skin has a smooth texture with a single seed embedded in the flesh.


 It is not a famous street tree because it grows very tall and drops branches. It also requires a significant amount of water — over 50 inches per year. For this reason, it does well next to lakes and streams or swamps and bogs.


 Though this tree attracts attention for its unusual nature, it is not recommended for planting in heavily populated areas such as parks or yards. Once English settlers realized this tree's fragrant and nutritious fruits, they planted them on their extensive plantations. It is not uncommon to see black gum trees in front of plantation homes in the southeastern United States.


 Black Gum's Benefits


 This tree has uses in traditional medicine. The leaves of this tree have been used as a substitute for mullein leaves to treat fever and rheumatism. Similarly, the pith from the trunk has been used to treat several ailments.


 Though you can sometimes find these trees in gardens and yards, they are found in swamps and wetlands more often than not. Generally, not many of these trees are found in residential areas, except for floodplain forests or prairie plantings.


 The tree is also a significant part of an ecological community. Its spreading root system helps prevent soil erosion, while its thick shade keeps the ground cool and moist.


 It is also a food source for more than 100 species of wildlife — especially squirrels. These trees have high amounts of food value and are high in protein, so they are the prime food source for squirrels during the winter months.


 The sap from black gum trees has many traditional uses, such as chewing, cooking, and boiling it down to make maple syrup. Though these products are not popular street trees, they have many uses and benefits for the ecological community.

Black gum trees are available online at TN Nursery

Reviews (4)

  • 5
    Black gum tree

    Posted by Donnette Byars on Jun 21, 2022

    Timely delivery and excellent plants

  • 5
    Black gum tree

    Posted by Erik Sellars on Jun 21, 2022

    received bared rooted trees in timely fashion. Very happy with all aspects of purchase

  • 5
    Black gum tree

    Posted by Stella Forbes on Jun 21, 2022

    I have ordered a variety of plants and trees and I'm always satisfied with my purchases

  • 5
    Black gum tree

    Posted by Richard Lou on Jun 21, 2022

    Very impressed with these bare rooted trees


Shipping Information

We dig fresh our plants and ship immediately. We ship US Mail, Priority shipping. You will receive a tracking number once your plants ship. All plants will be fine in their packages for up to 3 days after receiving.

How We Protect Your Plants For Transit

We sell only bare root plants. We dip the roots in tera-sorb silicone gel to retain ample moisture for transit and surround with plastic. This is superior protection for plants in transit for up to 12 days.

Upon Receipt Of Your Plants

Open your plants and inspect the same day received. We offer 3 days to report any problems with your order. Bare root plants need to be planted within 2-3 days of receiving unless weather-related problems prohibit planting. Store in a cool place and keep roots moist and covered with plastic until they can be planted. Water for the first week daily after planting.

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