Nyssa sylvatica, aka..blackgum, akaka..black tupelo!

Aeast

Shohin
Messages
343
Reaction score
533
Location
Central, OH
USDA Zone
5b
Are there any examples or anyone in the US currently using these for bonsai?

I'm very interested in this species and have many at my disposal for collection. They are quite beautiful in the fall and I think (as long as they adapt to pot life well) would make great bonsai. The ones I've seen are quite twiggy and have short internodes and fairly small leaves.

Any thoughts?
 

Leo in N E Illinois

The Professor
Messages
10,121
Reaction score
19,827
Location
on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
USDA Zone
5b
Nyssa is on "my list' of species to try, but I have not done so yet. I encourage you to try several out. If you can find one with a trunk over 2 inches in diameter, up to about the diameter of a beer can, that is a good size range for small thru medium size bonsai. Don't bother digging unless the first 4 inches of trunk have something interesting going on. Twisted, or old bark or some feature that is ''cool''. Straight ones, and small diameter ones can be used for a forest planting.

Arthur Joura at North Carolina Arboretum, in Asheville has at least one in the arboretum's collection.

I don't think they present any particular problems as bonsai, less vigorous than an elm, not as difficult to do well as a maple. They can take full sun, and need more than a half day of sun. Moist but not soggy, standard deciduous bonsai mix should work well.

Go for it.
 

mrt1

Yamadori
Messages
57
Reaction score
39
Location
NE Ohio
USDA Zone
6A
Love the blackgum myself. The straight branching is awesome on mature individuals and the fall color can't be beat. Love to get one in a pot. ;)
 

Aeast

Shohin
Messages
343
Reaction score
533
Location
Central, OH
USDA Zone
5b
Thanks for the info leo, I'm definitely going to collect a few this year and see how they do. I have a few picked out that have character, good bark and some movement in the trunk. They are growing in an old clear cut and are quite plentiful.
 

Steve Kudela

Shohin
Messages
457
Reaction score
798
Location
southwest Georgia
USDA Zone
8
Has anyone else given these a try?
Has anyone else given these a try?
it's been awhile ago, I had one for 5-6 years. I enjoyed working with it. For some reason unbeknownst to me, it just didn't leaf out that spring. You should give 'em a try. I may start looking for another one.
 

Aeast

Shohin
Messages
343
Reaction score
533
Location
Central, OH
USDA Zone
5b
Did your tree require any certain care or was there anything you picked up on that it preferred? The only thing if read was that they like acidic soil.
 

Steve Kudela

Shohin
Messages
457
Reaction score
798
Location
southwest Georgia
USDA Zone
8
Did your tree require any certain care or was there anything you picked up on that it preferred? The only thing if read was that they like acidic soil.
It was an easy tree to take care of, no problems in terms of care. In my area it's mostly a bottomland and swamp tree al though they do grow on higher ground as well. Most of our native soil does lean towards acid so I'd say stay with your soil acidifiers. And I'd agree with Leo concerning watering and general care. Take a few of them up and let us have a gander.
 

discusmike

Omono
Messages
1,429
Reaction score
502
Location
elkton,MD
USDA Zone
7a
Good luck with leaf reduction n close internodes
 

Aeast

Shohin
Messages
343
Reaction score
533
Location
Central, OH
USDA Zone
5b
(Good luck with leaf reduction n close internodes)

So do you have first hand experience with them?
 

VAFisher

Omono
Messages
1,778
Reaction score
6,763
Location
Maidens, VA
USDA Zone
7a
I know Zach Smith has worked with them before. I recall reading some stuff on his blog and seeing at least one for sale on his site a couple years ago. I would shoot him an email - I'm sure he'll be happy to offer his advice.
 

rockm

Spuds Moyogi
Messages
10,528
Reaction score
14,331
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
This species has been used by Southern bonsaists for quite some time with varying degrees of success. Zach and Guy Guidry have made bonsai out of them. Guy had a huge one he sold on Ebay 8 or 9 years ago. It was spectacular. Wish I could find pictures of it.
 

Aeast

Shohin
Messages
343
Reaction score
533
Location
Central, OH
USDA Zone
5b
Well I found a decent candidate. After looking over about 100 trees and digging up a few I found they might be a little problematic. Usually a large tap root with few feeder roots, straight trunks with no taper, and so on. Hopefully this one makes it.
20170410_190839.jpg 20170410_190842.jpg
 

GGB

Omono
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
1,780
Location
Bethlehem, PA
USDA Zone
6b
@Aeast really hoping this one pulled through, this species is definitely on my list
 

Aeast

Shohin
Messages
343
Reaction score
533
Location
Central, OH
USDA Zone
5b
Unfortunately this one didn't make it. Every one I've collect has a giant tap root and very few lateral roots. This species might have to take a 2-3 year approach for collection.
 

Bonsai ed

Seed
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
Location
Prunedale
USDA Zone
9
Has anyone else given these a try?
Hey there,i live on California's central coast, my wife and I were at our local nursery and happened to find a nyssa,it's a nice tree I'm guessing it's around 4 or 5 years old, its about a foot and a half tall,half inch trunk and excellent branching,i have it in a 2 gallon pot.i found it in their bonsai section, right now its being trained,wired the trunk and pruned it a bit,its just now starting to bud out,I'm happy with it.
 

Aeast

Shohin
Messages
343
Reaction score
533
Location
Central, OH
USDA Zone
5b
Nice to hear, do you have pictures? I have about 10 whips that I am growing out specifically for bonsai. I have been unsuccessful with collection to date.
 

penumbra

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,970
Reaction score
9,394
Location
Front Royal, VA
USDA Zone
6
I have a few whips in the fridge I will be planting soon. I have another about 24 inches tall that I just cut back last autumn. Nothing to report yet except it is one of my favorite trees.
 

Aeast

Shohin
Messages
343
Reaction score
533
Location
Central, OH
USDA Zone
5b
I agree, the most vibrant fall colors.
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom