Called “one of the best and most consistent native trees for fall color” by tree expert Michael Dirr, the black tupelo is a terrific landscaping choice. Displaying various hues of yellow, orange, bright red and purple—often on the same branch—its foliage is a stand-out of the autumn season. Even the distinctive bark, which resembles alligator hide, adds visual and textural interest.
- Is known as one of the most attractive trees
- Provides stunning fall color in many shades of yellow, orange, red, and purple
- Develops bark that furrows with age, resembling alligator hide
- Serve as an important food source for bees, birds, and other wildlife
- Will be delivered at a height of 1’–1’6″
- The Black Tupelo grows in zones 4-9
- Mature Height: 30’–50′
- Mature Spread: 20’–30′
- Growth Rate: Slow to Medium
- Shape: Oval
- Sun Preference: Full Sun, Partial Shade
- Soil Preference: Acidic, Loamy, Moist, Rich, Sandy, Well-drained
- Wildlife Value: The fruit of the black tupelo attracts many birds and wildlife. It also provides nutrition for bees in early to late spring.
A tree of many monikers, the black tupelo is also known in various areas as a gum tree, sour gum, bowl gum, yellow gum or tupelo gum. Still others call it beetlebung, stinkwood, wild peartree or pepperidge.
When combined with the several other tupelo species, these trees have the distinction of being favorites with honey producers. The resulting honey is light and mild-tasting, fetching a high price, especially in Florida where it is a million dollar business annually.