The black gum tree is a deciduous tree initially from the U.S. Black gum is a great choice to deliver vibrantly fall color to your outdoor space.

Black gum trees have dark green leaves that are oval or egg-shaped, measuring at least six inches long. The autumn season displays leaves in shades of red, yellow, orange, and purple—the flowers of black gum form into drooping clusters in the springtime and bright green.


Growing a Black Gum Tree

Since the black gum has a long taproot, it could experience hardship have difficulties moving from one spot to another. It also might labor if planted in the autumn. You might want to begin one from a seed in the preferred site or pick a young tree where the taproot will be littler for the best results.

The black gum’s height could be between 20 to 35 feet wide and 30 to 75 feet tall, contingent on the growing climate and setting. When the black gum is young, it typically forms into the shape of a pyramid. Over time, it could be horizontal, oval, or irregular in shape.



Plant the black gum tree where there will be partial shade and full sun.Durham Tree Service sweet black gum tree


A black gum tree necessitates acidic soil that lets water drain away from the rooting system.


Black gum trees desire wet soil and could grow in standing water.

Humidity and Temperature

Being innate to the U.S., this black gum tree is drought-resistant, acclimates to severe climates, and endures wet conditions.


Black gum trees grow slowly but will respond excellent to fertilizer applications in the fall. Shake the fertilizer on the soil beneath the tree, keeping it a reasonable distance from the trunk’s drip line. The standard rule is two cups of slow-releasing fertilizer for each inch of the trunk’s diameter measured four feet over the soil surface.


Perform reproduction through the use of cuttings and seed germination. Use grafting to sustain the characteristics of designated cultivars.


Black gum doesn’t typically need much pruning to sustain the tree. Regular care includes eliminating parts that have become damaged, dead, or diseased.

Diseases and Pests

Black gum is susceptible to certain pests and a couple of common diseases. 

The forest tent caterpillar will eat away at the leaves, producing defoliation. You could try eco-friendly controls such as spinosad or neem oil.

Water a black gum tree two times a week while the tree is young. Operate your sprinklers for at least 40 minutes for every watering session. Or use an irrigation system with at least two emitters per tree for approximately 35 minutes.

You could also get rid of distressed limbs to eliminate eggs and nests. If the issue continues and is widespread, contact a local extension service to get the correct insecticide for your area.

Sapsuckers are birds that jab holes into the trunk to get to the sap. You could wrap the places on the trunk where they assault with burlap. You could use a deterrent that’s made mostly for sapsuckers.

To get more help caring for your black gum trees, call Durham Tree Service.

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