Colorful Foliage and Fruit
Also known as the black tupelo, sour gum, and pepperidge, the black gum makes a beautiful specimen tree in transition zone yards. The leaves are a glossy dark green in summer, turning gorgeous shades of orange, scarlet, or purple in the fall. The black gum is one of the first trees to change color in autumn. Female trees grow clusters of fruits that turn dark blue in the fall and are enjoyed by many birds. The bark of mature trees is gray and deeply textured, resembling alligator hide.