Sourwood Tree Seedlings: A Hardy and Beautiful Addition to Your Landscape

Sourwood Tree Seedlings: A Hardy and Beautiful Addition to Your Landscape

Sourwood Tree Seedlings

Known scientifically as Oxydendrum Arboreum, the sourwood tree is hardy in Zones 5-9. It is also commonly known as a brown tree, sour gum, lily-of-the-valley tree, and arrowwood tree. It is a relatively easy tree to grow and requires little attention to thrive. It enjoys slightly acidic soil that drains well and total sun exposure, although it can tolerate partial shade while growing. This tree needs ample moisture and does not thrive in drought conditions. It can be found in southern states as far west as Tennessee and Kentucky and as far north as Ohio.

In the fall, the Sourwood Tree is known as an absolute stunner that gives the sugar maple of the Northeast a run for its money. Its foliage adds a multi-color mixture of reds, purples, and yellows to the landscape, often displaying multiple colors simultaneously. During the summer, the sourwood tree provides ample bright white blossoms that attract beneficial pollinators, including honeybees. Its leaves are long-shaped and have a lush green color. During the winter, the tree is decorated with seed pods.

This tree is naturally resistant to disease and pests and has few known ailments. It grows to a height of 25-50 feet and a width of up to 20 feet at maturity. A healthy sourwood can grow up to 12-24 inches a year and, in ideal conditions, can live up to 200 years. It can take 4 to 5 years for it to produce blossoms.

The tree is nicknamed the sorrel tree due to the sour flavor of its edible leaves. Most of the tree is edible, including the bark and sap. Traditionally, people have used this tree medically to treat pain and fever. Early pioneers collected honey made from these blossoms for their superior flavor. Even today, sourwood honey is sought out worldwide! Many animals, including deer, also enjoy twigs and leaves.

This tree pairs well with other trees, including black oak, Sweet Gum, and Red Oak. It is a beautiful addition to the landscape for its practicality and beauty.