Sourwood Tree Seedlings
Sourwood, also known as Sorrel Tree, is found throughout the eastern United States but is particularly abundant in the Appalachian region of the southeastern United States. The name “Sourwood” is a reference to the sour taste of the tree’s leaves. It is an ornamental shade tree that. New growth on Sourwood trees appears yellow-green and darkens to a reddish-brown color. Sourwood is not affected by any major diseases or pests. In optimal conditions, Sourwood trees can live for one to two hundred years. Sourwood typically grows at a rate of twelve to twenty four inches a year. Once established, Sourwood can tolerate brief periods of drought but favors consistent moisture and slightly acidic, well-drained soil. The leaves are four to eight inches long. They are elliptical in shape and a deep, dark green during the summer but turn a vibrant red with minor purple and yellow in the fall. Highly prized as an ornamental tree, the showy, bell-shaped, creamy white flowers emerge in early summer, after most spring flowering plants have stopped producing flowers. The blossoms are produced in four to ten inch, elongate clusters. An oblong-shaped fruit follows the fragrant flowers. The pods are not typically edible but provide a nice contrast to the fall colors. The main use of Sourwood is to produce high-quality, extra sweet honey. Bees especially enjoy the Sourwood flowers and the honey produced by bees that frequent Sourwood trees is highly sought after. Lumber from Sourwood trees has been used to make tool handles. Amazingly, Sourwood, or any similar species, is not found growing wild on other continents and is only present if cultivated.