Friday, June 18, 2010

Tupelos

Nyssa

Very easy to grow on their preferred fertile, moist, well drained soils; the 5 species of Tupelos also grow well on wet swampy sites where many trees won't grow.
Tupelo wood is hard and very difficult to split. If you do cut down a Tupelo, you will unleash a madness of root sprouts. While no tree is perfect; a well grown Tupelo is an extremely attractive and useful tree; I can easily give them a 10 / 10 rating as a landscape tree and it is of much higher quality than many "McStreet Trees".
Tupelos are also highly valued for Tupelo Honey produced from their nectar which is among the finest honey in existance.
The thrive in sun or partial shade and are easy to reproduce from seed collected upon ripening and sown immediately. The Tupelos are also reproduced from half hardened cuttings in mid summer. Small containerized plants establish much faster than larger field grown plants. They do not like root disturbance so it is not recommended to dig up and move one once it is established. Tupelos are virtually immune to any serious pests or diseases.

Nyssa aquatica ( Water Tupelo )
A very fast growing, large tree to 100 feet with a tall trunk and a domed canopy. Native to the southeastern U.S. from eastern Texas to Illinois to Virginia south to the Gulf of Mexico ( excluding the Appalachian region ), it is unfortunately rare in cultivation and is also becoming rare in the wild.
Some records include: 30 years - 75 feet tall with a trunk diameter of 1 foot; 50 years - 82 feet with a trunk diameter of 2.2 feet; largest on record - 160 x 160 feet with a trunk diameter of 12.6 feet. It is an excellent tree to mix with Bald Cypress in floodplain habitats.
The leaves are large and ovate or oblong, to 13 x 5 inches. Unlike Nyssa sylvatica, they are white downy below and have margins with occasional teeth. The foliage turns to red during autumn.
The greenish-white flowers are borne in axilliary clusters in spring and are followed by deep blue-purple fruits up to 2 inches in length. The cooked berries can be used for pies and preserves.
Just like the Bald Cypress, the trunk is often much widened at the base.
Thrives in sun or partial shade and is hardy from zones 5 to 9 ( reports of hardiness to zone 3 are unverified ). Very tolerant of flooding and swampy sites; the Water Tupelo is often found in the wild on sites with several feet of water for months over the winter season along with the Bald Cypresses. It is an excellent tree for river plain gold courses and parks. Very heat tolerant!

* photo taken on May 1 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo of unknown souce on internet

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA

* photo taken by R.K. Winters @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* historic archive photos


Nyssa ogeechee ( Ogeechee Tupelo )
A tree with a surprisingly limited range of southern Alabama, southern Georgia and northern Florida despite its extreme hardiness and adaptability. Very rare however it is superior to many much more abundant urban shade trees. A moderate growing, very attractive, medium sized tree to 50 x 45 feet on average, on ideal sites it can grow much larger. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet x 1.5 inch trunk diameter increase; largest on record - 95 x 80 feet with a trunk diameter of 6.4 feet.
The foliage is similar to Nyssa aquatica but with the margins more wavy instead of toothed. The leaves also have a much less sharply pointed tip.
The leaves up to 7 x 3 inches are shiny deep green turning to orange-red in autumn.
The flowers in mid spring appear with the foliage and are small as well as not very visible.
The fruits are short stalked and red; up to 1.5 inches in length. They may persist into winter. The cooked berries can be used for pies and preserves.
The twigs are hairy and velvety. The bark is light gray.
Hardy zones 6 to 9; it is both very clay tolerant and unusually drought tolerant for a Tupelo. A very tough tree with very strong branches.

* photo taken by Gordon Langdon @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photos taken on Apr 17 2016 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


Nyssa sinensis ( Chinese Tupelo )
A rare but very beautiful, rapid growing, conical tree to 60 feet that is a native of central China. Older trees develop a more spreading dome shaped canopy.
Somewhat open in habit; some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 7 feet; largest on record - 100 x 73 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.5 feet. A very large tree is reported to grow on Spruce Street in Steelton, PA.
The leaves are narrowly ovate and up to 10.5 x 5 inches in size. They are red at first during spring, turning luxuriant deep green above, pale green beneath. The autumn color is a spectacular show of reds, oranges and yellows.
The tiny greenish-white flowers are produced in the leaf axils of young branches during mid-spring.
They are followed in late summer by clusters of 2 or 3 blue, oblong fruit.
Hardy zones 5 to 9. Both very drought tolerant and very tolerant of flooding, storms and salt. Easy to grow, it is not prone to pests or disease.

* photo taken on March 28 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on May 8 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


* photo taken on July 17 2010 @ Morris Arboretum, Philly, PA

* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD


Nyssa sylvatica ( Black Tupelo )
A large, moderate growing tree to 80 feet or more that is native to eastern North America ( from Racine, Wisconsin to Saginaw, Michigan to Wapole Island, Ontario to London, Ontario to Hamilton, Ontario to northern Vermont to southeast Maine; south to the Gulf of Mexico. In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was locally common at Lasalle, around Colchester as well as between the town of Essex and Leamington/Wheatley during the 1800s. It was uncommon but not quite rare on the Ohio shore during that time. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 5 feet; 20 years - 50 x 33 feet; largest on record - 160 x 80 feet with trunk diameter of 7 feet. There were reports of trees even larger to 8.6 feet in trunk diameter and up to 680 years in age in the ancient old growth forests that once covered the eastern U.S.
The Black Tupelo usually grows with a tall, straight trunk and horizontal side branches. Typically they are pyramidal when young and later much more spreading with a domed canopy or flat top.
The deciduous, oval, smooth edged leaves are up to 7 x 4 inches. The foliage is deep green and very shiny above and pale green below in summer. In autumn the foliage turns to bright scarlet red however yellows, orange and purple often appear on the same tree.
The spring flowers are tiny and not very visible and are followed by small, blue-black fruits ripening in autumn. The cooked berries can be used for pies and preserves.
Young twigs yellowish green later turning to red-brown.
The checkered gray bark is deeply furrowed.
Hardy zones 3 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on deep, acidic, well drained soil. The Black Tupelo is extremely hardy thriving on upland sites as well as low swampy ones. They prefer hot summers and are best moved while small since they resent transplanting due to their deep taproot. Rarely does this tree have problems with pests or diseases but they do not enjoy drought or pollution. Rarely damaged by high winds, road salt or icestorms despite a massive limb that randomly fell in a clients yard on a sunny summer day. I guess in landscaping there are always surpises. In the July 1998 tornado that struck Kopegaran Woods east of Leamington, Ontario; a stand of Tupelos ( see fall color photos below ) stood relatively unscathed despite carnage of surrounding trees.

* photos taken in Columbia, MD




* photo taken in Wilkes-Barre, PA on August 2009


* photo taken in Leamington, Ontario on October 1996

* photo taken on Mar 2010 in Howard Co., MD
* photos taken on April 5 2010 in Howard County, MD



* photo taken on April 18 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


* photo taken on May 1 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on Oct 25 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on June 7 2012 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on Oct 18 2013 in Howard Co., MD
* photo taken on Oct 19 2013 in Columbia, MD

* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken by W.D. Brush @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photos taken on July 18 2014 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on Sep 22 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken @ Middle Patuxent, Clarksville, MD on Apr 24 2015

* photo taken on Sep 19 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Oct 14 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Oct 16 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Oct 19 2015 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on Feb 7 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 1 2017 in Baltimore Co., MD

* photo taken on Apr 14 2017 @ Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, MD

* historical archive photo


'Autumn Cascade'
Strongly weeping, reaching up to 50 x 30 feet or more. Very fast growing, it can reach up to 25 x 15 feet in 10 years and makes an excellent substitute for Weeping Willow.
The shiny foliage is also unusually large for Black Tupelo.


* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


supsp. 'biflora' ( Swamp Tupelo )
A southern subspecies that is found nearly exclusively on swampy sites in the southeastern U.S. ( from southeast Missouri to southern Illinois to central Kentucky to New Jersey; south to eastern Texas to Florida ). It is slightly smaller in size, reaching a maximum size of 116 x 54 feet with a trunk diameter of 5.5 feet.

* photo taken on July 17 2010 @ Morris Arboretum, Philly, PA

* photo taken by W.D. Brush @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* historic archive photo


'Forum'
Dense, upright and conical with a prominent central leader. Faster than average growth for species ( 17 x 8 feet with a trunk diameter of 5 inches in 9 years ).
Hardy zones 4 to 9

'Jermyn's Flame'
Large foliage turns an excellent mix of red, orange and yellow in autumn.

'Miss Scarlet'
Excellent scarlet autumn foliage and large blue berries.

'Oikos'
Trees sold by Oikos Nursery in Michigan growth from seeds collected in the Saginaw County area which tolerate alkaline soils and drought better than usual. Abundant fruits as well.

'Red Rage'
Similar to species, except with glossy deep green foliage that turns intense red during autumn.

'Red Wine'
Bright red new spring foliage later turns burgundy-green.

'Sheffield Park'
foliage begins to turn autumn color 2 to 3 weeks earlier than average for Black Tupelo.

'Sheri's Cloud' ( Variegated Tupelo )
A small to medium-sized tree, unlike the species. The very attractive elegant foliage is gray-green with a bold, broad creamy-white margin. The variegation turns to pink during autumn as the remainder of the leaf turns intense red.

'Wildfire'
Similar except that emerging foliage is reddish in color.

* photo taken on April 18 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


* photo taken on Oct 30 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on April 29 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 17 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 15 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 1 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Nov 17 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 4 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on June 21 2016 in Columbia, MD


'Wisley Bonfire'
Symmettrical form and excellent autumn foliage color

Nyssa talamancana
A large tree, reaching a maximum height of 150 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet.
It is native to Costa Rica and Panama and is likely endangered with extinction.
The foliage is luxuriant verdant green.
This beautiful tree should be trialed in cultivation in subtropical regions such as southern Florida. Likely zone 10 hardiness.

Nyssa ursine ( Bear Tupelo )
Reaches up to 10 feet in 2 years in favorable conditions, though usually much slower growing and often smaller, even at maturity. Usually found as a shrub native to northwestern Florida. Extremely rare, I can only wish I had more information on one of North America's
rarest plants which is practically unknown in cultivation. It is likely much more cold tolerant than its native range suggests and is very heat tolerant.

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