Sassafras Tree

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Sassafras Tree Description

Sassafras Tree is used for medicinal purposes and grows naturally in the woods and open fields.

Sassafras tree is native to North America and East Asia. A mature tree can reach between 20 to 60 feet in height or more and 25 to 40 feet in width. Regarding soil requirements, the sassafras tree can grow in various soils. However, it grows best in acidic soil that is sandy and well-drained. The tree can grow in hardiness zones 4 to 9 and is considered resistant to drought.

The growth rate is considered medium to fast-growing, with trees growing between 13 inches to 24 inches within a year. Some plants have grown over 15 feet in 4 years. In terms of lighting requirements, the tree grows best in full sun to partial shade, with at least 4 hours of direct sunlight. The tree can survive over 1,000 years in the wild in the ideal growing environment.

 In the spring, the tree blooms with clusters of yellow flowers. These yellow flowers are 1 to 2 inches long and can be up to a half-inch in diameter. After a few days, the flowers are replaced by bright green leaves. At full maturity, the leaves can grow 3 to 7 inches long. This tree produces three types of leaves simultaneously. It produces oval-shaped leaves, three-lobe leaves, as well as mitten-shaped leaves.

It should be noted that the mitten-shaped leaves can be either left or right-handed. The edges of the leaves are smooth. The leaves turn a spectrum of colors in the fall, including yellow, orange, scarlet, and sometimes purple. It also may acquire half-inch dark blue fruit in the fall. The whole leaves form a light-blocking canopy. The tree's bark is green and smooth when young and may become more orange or brown as it ages. It's important to note that the plant can be trained as a single trunk tree or a bushy thicket. When young, the tree generally looks like a shrub, with a central trunk and smaller saplings surrounding it. As the tree matures, it will form a defined tree shape with one distinct trunk. The tree forms wide, with a flat top. 

You should also note that the trees are known for their fragrant smell, similar to root beer. While this odor is mild in the spring when the flowers bloom, it becomes more prominent throughout summer. Regarding landscaping uses, these trees can be considered ornamental trees and shade trees. On the ornamental side, these trees are commonly used for their spectrum of fall colors and unique appearance. They are also frequently used for the aroma they introduce to a garden or yard. The tree can also be used as a shade tree in a backyard.

However, it should be planted 20 feet away from houses and buildings, as the tree tends to grow wide and tall if trained to grow as a single-trunk tree. These backyard trees are used for shade and placed near entertainment or outdoor seating areas. In addition, the trees are often planted to attract wildlife. Animals such as deer enjoy eating the leaves and branches of the tree. Birds such as turkeys, quail, woodpeckers, and squirrels are attracted to the plant's fruit in the fall. Rabbits also enjoy the bark of the tree. These trees are also commonly used in parks or public areas for shade.                                                       

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This tree, formally known as Sassafras albidum, comes from North America and East Asia as a native. Due to its full-blown canopy, this tree can grow conveniently in vast forests or fields and open areas. A well-kept and acidic, drained soil is the best habitat for these trees, but they can grow in almost all types of soils, including sandy. Springs yield the best outcomes from the sassafras tree harvests. These deciduous trees can grow their heights up to 60 feet or more at maturity, while their widths are close to 40 feet. They have been recorded to grow 15 feet within four years.

With its growth occurring in 4 - 9 zones of hardiness, these trees are known to be drought-resistant. They can grow 13 to 24 inches annually, so Sassafras is also considered one of the fast-growing categories of trees. In terms of their resiliency & survival, these trees only require four or more hours of partial to full sun. Direct rays or part shade from the sun and the ideal wild habitats can make the sassafras trees live for more than 1,000 years. 

These trees are well known for their spring blooms of drooping yellow flowers. These loose flowers precede the appearance of leaves and have 5 to 6 petals. After transforming from the flowers, the bright green leaves mature and grow for as long as 3 to 7 inches. The smooth-edged Sassafras tree leaves have three types; oval-shaped leaves, three-lobed leaves, and mitten-shaped leaves. In the fall, these leaves show different fall colors. The bluish-black fruits of these trees are ripe during the late summers and are called 'Drupes' or 'Stone Fruits.' 

The leaves collectively form a canopy that can block the sunlight from passing. The mature tree canopy is how the tree takes on a flat and wide-topped appearance. Depending upon the training, the plant can be fashioned into a solitary tree - a bushy thicket. This tree is initially a shrub-like plant with a bundle of small saplings in its surroundings and a trunk. The age of the sassafras tree can be calculated from the color of its bark, respectively.


Apart from its woods being used to start fires, the Sassafras trees' woods are also used in making furniture. Its leaves are a common ingredient in various cooking and medicinal purposes involving the skin, fever, and localized wounds; The bark is a source of Dye, Flavor, and Safrole. Safrole is the source of aromatic uses and medicinal drugs throughout the United States. The infamous Filé Powder, which originated from the leaves of Sassafras, is an ingredient for 'gumbo' - a traditional dish of Louisiana Creole. The sassafras trees are also used in the making of homemade root beer.

The aroma of the North American sassafras tree has been the main reason for this tree's demand as an ornament and landscape décor. These are the perfect shade trees with a ring of fall, summer, and spring colors. The colors, the root beer-like smell, the wildlife attraction, and the shade can transform any backyard or garden into a comfortable spot. Animals like deer, rabbits, butterflies, turkeys, squirrels, etc., visiting the garden is a bonus if there is a sassafras tree around.

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 Sassafras, otherwise known as Sassafras albidum, is a deciduous member of the tree family with native roots encompassing the range of Eastern North America. Are you considering a moderately simple plant to maintain? Its hardiness has been easy to grow in average, well-drained soil. A suitable choice for gardeners with sizeable garden space, this tree blooms April through May and thrives in full sun or part shade conditions offered by optimal growing zones 4 to 9. These are zones recommended for species of plants that demonstrate compatible growing environments as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture. Sassafras albidum reaches a height of 30 to 60 feet at full maturity and is rated as moderately sensitive to water levels and pruning. 

 Also, a flowering tree forms a canopy of broad, large, true-green leaves with a medium-pigmentated deep hue and pale white veining. The surface area and outline of the leaves change shape as the leaves reach maturity, forming spade-like patterns and variations of such. The blooms are delicate and hypnotic to insects. The flower structure is of compound organization with six pale yellow translucent petals and subtle veining.

The center contains darker yellow pigment apparent within the male flower's nine stamens and the female's centered pistil. The natural habitat is fields, open woods, and fences- sassafras flourishes in similar environments. It prefers moist, well-drained soils or sandy loam soils but is tolerant of various soil conditions. Depending on the rainfall, Sassafras reportedly shed leaves in response to climate change. The leaves, bark, twigs, stems, and fruits are consumed and utilized by birds, mammals, and insects—the Sassafras compliments a naturalized garden atmosphere or habitat, offering room to grow and space to thrive.


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Shipping Information

We dig fresh our plants and ship immediately. We ship US Mail, Priority shipping. You will receive a tracking number once your plants ship. All plants will be fine in their packages for up to 3 days after receiving.

How We Protect Your Plants For Transit

We sell only bare root plants. We dip the roots in tera-sorb silicone gel to retain ample moisture for transit and surround with plastic. This is superior protection for plants in transit for up to 12 days.

Upon Receipt Of Your Plants

Open your plants and inspect the same day received. We offer 3 days to report any problems with your order. Bare root plants need to be planted within 2-3 days of receiving unless weather-related problems prohibit planting. Store in a cool place and keep roots moist and covered with plastic until they can be planted. Water for the first week daily after planting.

Shipping Dates
Ships November through April

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