tree diseases and the symptoms to watch for

tree diseases and the symptoms to watch for

Profile Of A Unique Species: The Black Gum Tree

Wesley Perry

Look around your neighborhood, and chances are, you'll see a lot of the same trees – maples, oaks, elms, and maybe a few willows. While there is certainly nothing wrong with these trees, planting more of them will not make your yard unique. If you want your landscaping to really stand out, you need to plant a tree few other people in your neighborhood are likely to have: a black gum tree.

Characteristics of the Black Gum Tree

Black gum trees are named for their dark bark, which is similar in appearance to the furrowed bark of cottonwood and box elder trees. They have a wide crown and branches that begin several feet from their base, making them perfect shade trees. Their ovular leaves are dark green in the summer, but turn orange-yellow in the fall. Most reach about 80 feet in height when mature, though they can grow taller in the right conditions. 

Planting a Black Gum Tree

Before you plant a black gum tree, it's important to make sure your yard is suited to this species. Black gum trees have medium to high water requirements, though they can tolerate some brief periods of drought. If your soil stays relatively moist, aside from perhaps several weeks in the summer, the trees should be okay. Try to select as sunny an area of possible for your black gum tree, but keep in mind that they will put up with partial shade when they are young.

As with most trees, it's easier to plant a sapling from a landscape supply store than to try and plant your black gum tree from seed. Choose a tree with a thick main stem and plenty of branches.  When you're ready to plant it, make sure you dig a hole that's significantly wider than the root ball. After you fill the hole back in with soil, water the tree well to ensure the roots become moist. You'll also want to mulch around the tree to keep more moisture in the ground. Wood mulch is the best choice, since it will break down and naturally fertilize your tree.

Caring for a Young Black Gum Tree

Black gum trees are very low-maintenance. Once yours is in the ground, you may want to water it during periods of drought during its first two or three years. After that, its deep roots will allow it to access enough water. Mulch around the tree annually, and if you notice that the tree's growth rate seems to be slowing down, apply a general-purpose fertilizer occasionally. You do not need to have your black gum tree pruned, but can certainly do so if you want it to maintain a precise shape as it grows.

With its small, yet stunning green leaves, dark bark, and broad canopy, the black gum tree makes a vibrant addition to your yard. Plant one or several today, and break free of the maple-and-oak rut! For more tips on planting and caring for trees, contact a company like Excel Tree Service.


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tree diseases and the symptoms to watch for

Do you love the trees on your property? Are some of the trees looking as if they are not as healthy as they once were? Do the smaller trees get enough sun to grow tall? Sometimes, trees can develop diseases or become infested with insects that can cause them to die. If you catch these diseases and infestations early, you can oftentimes save the tree, or the surrounding trees. To learn what to look for on your trees, visit my website. There, you will find a long list of diseases and the symptoms to watch for to protect your trees from destruction.