Black-Gum Nyssa sylvatica
Family: Cornaceae (Dogwood)
Branching: Alternate
Other Names: Black Tupelo, Sour-gum

This tree is rare in Ontario and only found in the most southern areas.  It generally grows in moist forests and usually isn't a very big tree.  It is one of the few trees that has a chambered pith (though for some reason I forgot to take pictures of the specimen here!)  The mature bark becomes checkered and is often compared to "alligator skin".  These pictures were taken in the early spring and the buds may be opening up slightly.

Winter twig or Black-gum

Lateral bud

Another view of the winter twig

Closeup of the end bud of Black-gum

Closeup of the leaf scar

Bark beginning to split into blocky plates

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copyright © 2008 Josh Sayers
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