Nyssa sylvatica Marshall

Tupelo or black gum

Family: Nyssaceae
54º 34.949N
5º 56.028W

The tree tag number relates to the black tree-maintenance tags, usually fixed on the trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.

This is a member of a small family, the Nyssaceae. It is fairly closely related to Davidia involucra, the handkerchief tree, which is also in Nyssaceae. The tupelo is a native of wetlands from Ontario to Mexico. It forms a medium to large tree up to 22m

The tupelo is rare in the British Isles. It needs warm summers and is seldom seen north of the English Midlands. It is usually grown for its spectacular Autumn foliage colours of scarlet, orange and yellow. Introduced into the British Isles in 1750, it received an RHS Award of Merit in 1951 and an Award of Garden Merit in 1969. The flowers are tiny and greenish (see photo). 

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2015. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.