Sourwood tree is a brilliant and showy plant that grows between 20 and 50 feet tall, and its branches will spread out about 10 to 25 feet out. The most successful trees are grown in the Hardiness Zone 5 through 9. Oxydendrum Arboreum loves sunlight and does well in full sun but is also happy in partial shade as well if it has to.
The most nurturing soil for the Sourwood is organically rich, acidic, moist, well drained soil. This tree will not survive a drought so it must be kept watered lovingly. In the wild it's most well known for its appearance on the rocky slopes of the Appalachian Mountains. Its roots are shallow and the tree seems to respond to its environment better if it doesn't have to compete for ground space.
When the sourwood is mature its bark is typically gray color and scaly. The leaves are typically a deep green with fine tooth edges. Every fall the leaves will turn a brilliant crimson red color. The leaves are said to have a very bitter taste which lends to its name Sourwood. Hikers will often times make tea out of the leaves to help quench their thirst. The tea is also said to be beneficial for dysentery and diarrhea.
The flowers produced by the tree are extremely popular with bees providing a wonderful nectar for honey. The particular honey created by this tree is prized and considered more valuable than other variations of honey. There are few places in the country that also develop a jelly from the nectar of its flowers, called Sourwood Jelly.
The flowers on the Oxydendrum Arboreum are white and extremely fragrant. They droop off the tree similar to lilies of the valley. White tail deer love the twigs produced by the Sourwood.
Not only does this tree have ornamental value and medicinal value but makes a huge contribution to wildlife as well.
Latin Name- Oxydendron Arboreum Hardy Planting Zone-5-9 Mature Height- 25-30 ft Width-20' ft Sun or Shade- Prefers Full Sun
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