Street Trees Part 11 – Nyssa-Black Gum and Liquidambar- Sweet Gum

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This week we look at what some very durable choices for street trees. Both Nyssa and Liquidambar can grow into large trees so may require adequate room if used as street trees.


liquid lrg


But some cultivars can make very nice street trees.

Nyssa sylvatica, Black Gum is native tree that has spectacular fall color.


nyssa fall


It can grow into a large tree so needs space to grow.


nyssa lrg


Several cultivars are available.

Nyssa sylvatica ’Tupelo Tower’™, Tupelo Tower Black Gum is a narrow upright grower and can be used as an urban tree.


nyssa tupelo tower


Nyssa sylvatica ’Wildfire’, Wildfire Black Gum has excellent fall color.

Nyssa sylvatica ’David Odom’™, Afterburner Tupelo has an upright pyramidal to oval shape and turns red in fall.


nyssa afterburner


Nyssa sylvatica ’JFS-PN Legacy1’™, Gum Drop Tupelo has an upright oval head and is seedless.

Nyssa sylvatica ’JFS-Red’™, Firestarter Tupelo turns red earlier than most cultivars and is seedless.

Nyssa sylvatica ’NSUHH’™, Green Gable Tupelo is tolerant of wet sites and salt.


nyssa green gable


Nyssa sylvatica ’NXSXF’™, Forum Black Gum forms a nice central leader with horizontal branching forming a nice shape.


forum black gum


Liquidambar styraciflua, Sweetgum has been used as a street / urban tree for a number of years.




It has dark green foliage that can turn yellow, orange, and red in the fall. The seed pods can sometimes be a problem.


Liquidambar seeds


There are several really good cultivars.

Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Slender Silhouette’ Slender Silhouette Sweetgum has a narrow, low branching, columnar form.


l slender sil


It produces very little fruit and has a yellow to orange fall color.


l slen sil fall


Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Rotundiloba’, Fruitless Sweetgum has a rounded head and is fruitless.


l rotund

l rotund leaf





and Black Gum





are great additions to your street tree palette.