The Wildfire Black Gum or Tupelo tree is a personal favorite shade tree. That's why I have one shading the southwest side of my home from the sun. But really, what's not to love? These nativars are hardy, easy to care for, maintain a consistent shape and provide stunning multi-season fire-red foliage. In the spring the first leaves of this tree emerge a brilliant fire-wagon red, which are beautiful on their own, but can providing a stunning backdrop for other specimen trees like dogwoods or redbuds. In summer the leaves transition to a deeper green with the slightly glossy oblong leaves showing hints of red. The bark of a younger tree is smooth almost like a cherry and gets rougher with age. In fall, The black gum often holds out a little later for its show, but when transitions you can't mistake it. Leaves change from green/orange quickly to red with mottled darker red splotches that make it deeper in color, but simultaneously more brilliant than many of the maple cultivars.
When caring for these trees we recommend maintaining the usual mulch ring to protect the tree from elements, competing plants, and yard equipment for the first few years. The roots of a black gum tree should to be kept wet, but the tree appreciates a deeper more prolonged watering regiment than other shade trees and it can tolerate soil that gets well soaked, but doesn't stay wet. Slow release fertilizer can be applied (per directions on the bag) in the early fall to give the tree a boost that will carry through to spring. See our care tab below for more details.
|Bloom Period:||Late spring|
|Fall Color:||Fire-wagon red with mottled darker red splotches|
|Foliage Color:||Bright green in early spring darkening with summer|
|Genus & Species:||Nyssa sylvatica 'Wildfire'|
|Growth Rate:||Moderate to fast|
|Mature Height:||40 to 45 ft.|
|Mature Spread:||25 to 30 ft.|
|Soil Type:||Likes soils that get consistently wet, but don't stay permanently wet. Will do well in well drained soil that is high in organic matter|
|Sun Exposure:||Full sun|
|Zone:||5 to 9|
General care for any tree or shrub is easy, please educate yourself and follow these simple rules.