Black Gum Trees – November 2011 Tree of the Month

Black Gum Trees located in Banchoff Park


by Van Cotter

The Ewing Township Environmental Commission recognizes twin black gum trees (Nyssa sylvatica) in Banchoff Park as the Ewing Township Tree of the Month for November 2011.

Black gum is an underappreciated native tree that deserves more recognition.  The fall colors of the leaves are spectacular with brilliant reds, deep reds and purples, and sometimes yellows. This early, brilliant foliar display is thought to attract birds to the blue fruit which are an important food source for migrating birds.  In summer, the leaves are an attractive glossy, dark green.

The form of the black gum tree with its vertical main trunk coupled with horizontal branches makes it a beautiful specimen tree within a landscape. Individual trees will often take on a unique, picturesque shape.

Bees utilize nectar from black gum flowers to make honey.

Though heavy and thus useful for firewood, the wood is cross-grained and difficult to split.

Please visit Banchoff Park to see these twin black gum trees which is located on the northern side of the large open field.  The entrance to Banchoff Park is off Mountain View Road; 0.3 of a mile in from Bear Tavern Road.

The purpose of the Ewing Township Tree of the Month is to call attention to Ewing Township trees of note based on their beauty, size or historical significance and thus engender a greater appreciation by residents for the fine trees in our community.

Let the Ewing Township Environmental Commission know about your favorite trees in Ewing Township and perhaps one will be selected for Ewing Township Tree of the Month..