Main Content

SIU 150th logo

This tree is one of the 150 trees initially included in the arboretum to coincide with the campus's 150th anniversary celebration.

Scientific Name:
Nyssa sylvatica


Native to:
Maine, Ontario, Michigan to Florida and Texas

Mature Height and Width:
30-50 feet by 20-30 feet, can grow to 100 feet high

Additional Notes:
Human interest in black gum probably peaked during the early industrial period when it’s characteristically cross-grained and difficult to split wood was fashioned into handles for mauls, wheel hubs, pulleys, bowls, and other uses where toughness was required.  Along with its durability, it was very difficult to work.  So stand back, enjoy the magnificent fall foliage, and be glad you weren’t born a wheelwright in the old days.