Sourwood Tree

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Sourwood Tree - Oxydendron Arboreum

The Sourwood Tree, Oxydendrum Arboreum, is a deciduous tree that is found mainly in temperate forest environments. The tree can grow up to a height of between 20 and 25 feet tall, though it has been known to grow up to 60 feet in height. It has very fragrant flowers that are white in color, bell-shaped and start blooming in the summer months. The tree leaves are a glossy green color and turn bright red in the fall. The tree requires full exposure to the sun and grows best in well-drained soils that are acidic and moist. It grows in planting zones 5 through 9 and the roots grow in shallow soil best when there are few other roots around. It can tolerate some shade but cannot tolerate any form of drought or pollution. The sourwood is used for landscaping as an ornamental lawn tree as well as for parks, patios and shade gardens.

The Sourwood tree, also known as the Sorrel tree; is a medium sized tree that grows from 33-66ft tall. It grows as a pyramid or narrow oval shape at a slow rate. Most of these trees can live for 100-200yrs. The pointed, oval-shaped leaves are dark green in the summer and turn red, purple or yellow in the fall. It is usually one of the first trees to change colors in the fall. The leaves have a sour taste. Fragrant white flowers bloom from June to early July. The blooms resemble lily-of-the-valley flowers; slender, drooping one-sided flowers with seed pods that last into fall. Small wooden fruit capsules hang from the tree in winter. The branches droop toward the ground. The flowers from these trees are attractive to honey producing bees. The tree's bark is grayish-brown red toned, rough and furrowed.

The Sourwood grows in slightly acidic, loamy-moist, sandy, and clay soils. It requires regular watering but can survive moderate drought. It can adapt to sun or shade. This tree grows in hardiness zones 5-9. It can be found from Pennsylvania to Flordia. These trees are native to Eastern North America.