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White Oak vs Black Gum

Quercus alba

Nyssa sylvatica

White Oak
Black Gum

White Oak is large, long-lived tree with an irregular trunk divided into spreading, often horizontal, stout branches. A highly adaptable tree, White Oak features green acorns and beautiful green leaves that turn red-purple in the fall.

With a huge growth in bourbon and scotch over the past few decades there is an emerging shortage of white oak that is the primary tree used for cask barrels and aging.

Black Gum is a slow-growing ornamental shade tree with a dense pyramidal shape. The foliage is dark green in the summer, and transitions to bright fall colours which include red, orange, purple, and gold. It is commonly used as an ornamental tree in parks and large gardens as a specimen or shade tree.

The small greenish white flowers provide nectar for bees and black tupelo honey is a sought after flavour. The small dark blue fruits which ripen in late summer will attract birds and other animals to your yard. The fruits are edible, but very sour, and are primarily used for pies, flavouring, and drinks. Plant the Black Gum where it will live long-term, as it has a large taproot and does not transplant well.

WHITE OAK QUICK FACTS

BLACK GUM QUICK FACTS

Lowest Price: $18.99 - SAVE UP TO 33%
Lowest Price: $11.99 - SAVE UP TO 20%
Zone: 4a
Zone: 3a
Height: 30 m (98 ft)
Height: 12 m (40 ft)
Spread: 8 m (25 ft)
Moisture: dry, normal
Moisture: dry, normal
Light: partial shade, full sun
Light: partial shade, full sun
Fall colour: dark red
Fall colour: purple, orange, yellow, red
Berries: dark blue
Flavor: sour
Harvest: september to october
Nuts: acorns
Growth rate: slow
Growth rate: slow
Life span: long
Life span: long
Maintenance: medium
Suckering: none
Suckering: medium





Other Names: black tupelo, pepperidge tree, sour gum, tupelo