A medium sized tree reaching up to 40 feet. On younger trees branches often stand at right angles to the trunk. Crown is flat topped or irregular. One of the first trees to assume fall  color, turning red in September. A member of he Dogwood Family, also known as Black Tupelo, Sour Gum and the Pepperidge. Wood is used for crates, baskets, chopping bowls, rolling pins, tool and broom handles, gunstocks and pistol grips. Fruits are eaten by grouse and wild turkey.


Glossy, dark green, oblong, 2-5 “ long,  pale underleaf. Shapely tip.


Gray-brown with shallow, irregular furrows. On mature trees resembles alligator hide, deeply furrowed and blocked.


Moderately thick, red-brown to gray . Oval buds pointed green and light brown, darkening in winter.


Fruit is a ½ inch long purple/blue berry that ripens in late summer and fall.


Males and females on separate trees. Light green flowers in clusters  hanging from stalks.