Wildfire Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica ‘Wildfire’)

Wildfire Black Gum

  • Native Tupelo Tree
  • A True Landscape Stand-Out
  • Outstanding Form
  • Brilliant, Ruby-Red Foliage in Spring
  • New Leaves are Bright Red for Weeks, Then Mature into Dark Green
  • Excellent Shade Tree for Modern Yards
  • Incredible, Showy Mix of Red, Purple, Orange and Yellow for Fall Color
  • Supports Local Birds and Butterflies
  • Harvest Tupelo Honey
  • Rugged, Durable Tree
  • Tolerates Arctic Cold, High Heat and Humidity
  • Grows in Full Sun or Partial Shade
  • Attractive Bark Grows Textured With Age
  • Deep Root System
  • Long-Lived
  • Deer Don’t Prefer the Taste

If you want a gorgeous shade tree with very colorful leaves, an easy-care nature and an excellent form—these incredible trees deserve your consideration. Imagine a bold color display both in spring and again in fall!

Look around your neighborhood for colorful spring leaves. Not many trees boast this special feature.

With Wildfire Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica ‘Wildfire’), your yard will draw all eyes during this special season. New leaves unfurl each spring pigmented a rich, bold red color.

The showy spring color display lasts a long time, until the maturing leaves age into the cool, dark green of summertime. Plant Wildfire Black Gum on the southwest corner of your lot. Enjoy refreshing shade…and the associated cost-savings on your cooling bill.

Watch your kids play on their shaded play structure. Enjoy good times with family and friends on your shaded patio. Laze away in your hammock chair, appreciating your good taste in trees!

And don’t forget about the “little things”. Wildfire Black Gum is a cultivar of a native tree, and supports the needs of local wildlife.

Inconspicuous yellow and white flowers in spring provide a welcome nectar source for butterflies, honey bees and beneficial pollinators. Local songbirds find shelter in the sturdy branches.

Go ahead, choose Wildfire Black Gum and make your Earth-hugging family members happy!

Once your growing season reaches its autumnal close, you’ll certainly be dazzled again. Those color-changing leaves will make a huge impression on your neighbors with their multi-colored fall foliage display.

On a single Wildfire Black Gum tree, you’ll see fiery red, smoky purple, harvest gold and blaze orange leaves. The color blend will keep you coming back to your hammock chair for another glimpse.

Honestly, you could wind up staring at your fall-colored tree for quite a while. Bring a book as a “cover story”. It’s okay to love this tree.

The tree looks great all year, even in winter. Energetic branching is slightly upturned, and the handsome canopy creates a rounded pyramid.

A tall, straight trunk is covered with dark brown bark. Very smooth when young, the bark becomes highly textured for winter interest as your tree ages.

How to Use Wildfire Black Gum in the Landscape

Special shade trees like this work well in either front or back yards. This compact option fits into smaller modern lots with ease.

Use one as an accent tree in the lawn. Or, plant several of them along your back fence to define your property.

For a continuous row, where the canopies touch, plant them 15 feet apart on center. You’ll measure from the center of one to the center of the next.

Add a row of these trees to create a colorful band in front of existing evergreen windbreaks. Include smaller, flowering trees like Redbud and Magnolia to soften the look.

These trees make great corporate campus trees on commercial property. Can you imagine how their vivid colors would draw people’s eyes? Plant a geometrical feature planting, with rows of trees equally spaced, to take advantage of the brilliant foliage.

Entrepreneurs can set up beehives and make good cash at Farmer’s Markets and online. Add Black Gum and Linden trees from Nature Hills for delicious Tupelo Honey and Basswood Honey production.

Tips for Care

For the best color, plant Wildfire Black Gum in a spot that receives full sun. However, if your summers are very hot, consider giving it partial shade in the afternoon.

It really prefers moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil. Add a three-inch layer of pine bark or pine straw mulch over the root system. Amend your planting backfill dirt with several handfuls of peat moss.

Give Black Gum a deep watering on a regular schedule. This is most important during their first season in your landscape, as their deep root systems are getting established.

Use the “Finger Test” to see when your tree needs water. Stick your finger in the ground nearby. Is it moist? Skip watering that day. Is it dry? Time to water your tree well.

Apply slow-release fertilizer for trees in early spring. Always follow application rates on the label.

Prune to shape young trees in early spring. The goal is to develop a well-balanced branching structure that allows sunlight and air circulation to penetrate into the canopy.

Wildfire Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica ‘Wildfire’) Details

Common name Wildfire Black Gum
Botanical name Nyssa sylvatica 'Wildfire'
Plant type Deciduous
Hardiness zone 4-9
Growth rate Slow
Height 30 - 50 ft.
Width 20 - 30 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun, Partial Shade
Moisture Medium
Soil condition Well Drained
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Pruning time Early Spring
Flower color White, Yellow