It is the little known tree that captures our attention every fall. The Nyssa sylvatica, (also known as the black tupelo, black gum, or pepperidge), is largely unknown because it’s leaves do not have a dramatically obvious shape and it is native to lowland areas that are not often hiked. It’s autumn colors however, are it’s glory, and in the fall, the glossy leaves produce some of the brightest and most reliable fall colors the season can offer.
The black tupelo forms a fairly formal pyramidal to rounded pyramidal crown with a dominant central leader and lower branches that frequently droop to the ground. Its lateral branches remain thin in diameter and form a pattern like spokes on a wheel when observed from below.
I am looking for a tree to plant in the center of my own patio this summer, something that isn’t too messy, has some great branching structure, lots of wow factor and will help me create an intimate enviroement. This is one to consider for sure and I am adding it to my short list. If you have other suggestions (for zone 5), I would love to hear them!
1. Nyssa sylvatica fruit.JPG, 2. Rain shower on black gum, 3. 2007-11-01 006, 4. Black Gum Tree, Green Hill Cemetery, 5. Black Gum Bark, Green Hill Cemetery, Greensboro, 6. Nyssa Sylvatica (Tulepo tree)