Ron Wilson

Ron Wilson

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Street Trees 11 - Thomas deHaas

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. But some cultivars can make very nice street trees.

Nyssa sylvatica, Black Gum is native tree that has spectacular fall color. It can grow into a large tree so needs space to grow.

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

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.

There are several really good cultivars.

Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Slender Silhouette’ Slender Silhouette Sweetgum has a narrow, low branching, columnar form. It produces very little fruit and has a yellow to orange fall color.

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

Sweetgum and Black Gum are great additions to your street tree palette.


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