At Native Forest Nursery we grow bare root seedlings and #3 container trees. Our container trees are grown in a #3 air pruned pot. This root making container eliminates nearly all potential for root wrapping. This allows for an excellent root structure and delivers an extremely healthy tree. The bare root seedlings at our nursery are grown in a sandy loam soil with high organic matter content, which provides an extremely healthy environment for our seedlings. Our bare root liners and seedlings are hand lifted, packaged, and kept in cold storage until you are ready to plant. Conservation uses for our products include reclamation, mitigation, reforestation, restoration, wildlife habitat improvement and wetland uses. Horticultural uses for our products include field liners, container liners, landscape plantings, budding stock, grafting stock and ornamental uses.

Family: Cornaceae
Latin Name: Nyssa sylvatica 'Wildfire'
Foliage: Dark green
Fall Foliage: Fiery scarlet
Bloom: Greenish-white
Bloom Time: May to June
Shape: Pyramidical to rounded crown
Bark: Thick blocky ridges
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Zone: Zone 3 to Zone 9
Size: 30 to 50 feet
Spread: 20 to 30 feet
Care: Medium, well drained soil

Surely reigning as the most flamboyant and fantastic native variety of the Black Gum tree, the “Wildfire” Black Gum is a spectacular sight to behold in autumn given its fiery scarlet foliage. Belonging to the Cornaceae family, Nyssa Sylvatica “Wildfire” resembles Nyssa Sylvatica in its structure, habitat, and physical characteristics. It has a 3-9 hardiness zone rating and can be found throughout eastern North America.

This species prospers in full sun to partial shade and favors medium, well-drained soils. Reaching 30-50 ft. in height, with a 20-30 ft. spread, the “Wildfire” Black Gum climaxes with a pyramidal to rounded crown. Its green-white pastel flowers bloom from May to June, giving way to sour summer berries that contributed to the tree’s alternative nickname, “Sourgum”. The “Wildfire” Black Gum’s bark is thick, stubby, and dark gray.

Perhaps the most characteristic difference between this tree and its Black Gum counterpart is that the “Wildfire” Black Gum features more vibrant and longer lasting foliage. Its deciduous leaves shift from dark green to ruby-red hues, a color that is uniquely maintained throughout the early spring because all the leaves produced during the growing season are also scarlet-toned. As these leaves grow, the red color becomes bronze before it finally lightens to the more typical late-spring green.

Given good conditions, the “Wildfire” Black Gum has a remarkable growth rate, known to grow 18 ft. within a decade. It adapts to both poorly drained and dry soils, and maintains a pleasant shape with minimal pruning. Light doses of fertilizer and heavy mulching are encouraged. Like the regular Black Gum, the “Wildfire” variety has enormous wildlife value; its sour fruit alone is said to attract at least 90 different species of birds. Deep-rooted and long-living, the “Wildfire” Black Gum is also favored for withstanding winds and for preventing soil erosion.