I’ve worked at planting a lot of trees and shrubs native to the Ontario Carolinian forest in my gardens over the past few years. Some have been more successful than others, begging the question as to whether our not our changed habitat and environment can easily support what were once in abundance in our area. One favourite on my list was a Nyssa Sylvatica, also known as sour gum, black tupelo or black gum. Known for it’s fantastic fall colour, Nyssa Sylvatica is hard to find in local garden centers largely due to the fact that it is hard to grow from cuttings and has a tap root, making transplanting difficult. After asking for three straight years, I was finally able to obtain a container grown specimen this year and have not been disappointed.
Nyssa sylvatica is a slow grower, reaching 15 feet in 15 years but will ultimately reach 30 to 50 feet in height. But its beautiful shape, glossy leaves and outstanding orange fall colour are well worth it.