A Black Gum tree from Joanne in SC

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It is a twenty ft straight tree that is dying. I think it is dogwood? The leaves are opposite but whorled. Can you identify for me?


Hi Joanne,

I am rather certain that your tree is a black gum, Nyssa sylvatica.  I’m not sure why you think it is dying.  It is not unusual for the leaves of this tree to start turning reddish even this early. They are bright red in the fall. Look for paired black or green ‘berries’ on stalks – those would be typical on a healthy tree.  Your other submission of a branch with bark on it, I assume from the same tree, also looks normal for this species.

I hope this helps.


Steven Hill, Botanist, SCNPS

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