University of Missouri Extension

G6800, Revised June 2008

Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees

Black gum (Nyssa sylvatica)

Medium-sized trees

Black gum
Black gum

The scarlet to orange fall color of the black gum is one of the most brilliant fall colors of any tree species. It is a densely pyramidal tree with lustrous, dark green leathery leaves. It is a difficult tree to transplant, and like most hard-to-transplant trees, the smaller sizes have a better chance of surviving after they are moved. Black gum is sometimes difficult to find in many nurseries, but it should become more commonly available as more people get to know its merits. It is a slow-growing but pest-free tree.

G6800 Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees | University of Missouri Extension

Order publications online at or call toll-free 800-292-0969.

University of Missouri Extension - print indicia