Arboretum
"A man does not plant a tree for himself, he plants it for posterity." - Alexander Smith   
Sour Gum Or Black Gum
(Nyssa sylvatica)

Donated by C. W. Stewart
Tree Map Location: # 211
In Honor of Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Stewart

Sour Gum tree Sour Gum tree in fall color Sour Gum leaves and fruit in fall color Sour Gum green leaves


Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, oblong to obovate in shape with an entire margin, 3 to 5 inches long, occasionally shallow lobes (or coarse teeth) near tip, dark green above and slightly paler below.  
Flower: Primarily Dioecious; not showy, light green in color, in clusters hanging from slender stalks, appearing with the leaves.  
Fruit: A dark, purplish blue drupe, 1/2 inch long, with a fleshy coating surrounding a ribbed pit, ripen in late summer and fall.  
Twig: Moderately stout, red-brown to gray, diaphragmed pith; 1 to 2 inch curved spur shoots are often present; buds ovate, pointed, green and light brown, but darkening to brown in the winter. Bark: Gray-brown and shallowly, irregularly furrowed, on old stems it can become quite blocky, resembling alligator hide.  
Bark: Gray-brown and shallowly, irregularly furrowed, on old stems it can become quite blocky, resembling alligator hide.  
Form: A medium sized tree reaching up to 80 feet tall on moist sites, generally much shorter in the mountains. On younger trees the branches often stand at right angles to the trunk with numerous short, curled spur shoots present.  
Source: College of Natural Resource Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University  
Website: http://www.cnr.vt.edu/dendro

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618-545-3069
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