How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Sour gum, Tupelo, Tupelo gum— Nyssa spp.
Family Nyssaceae (Tupelo family)

Plant Identification

Sour gum is a pyramid-shaped deciduous tree with crooked branches.  It has reddish bark and glossy, dark green leaves.  Male and female flowers are inconspicuous and produced on separate plants.  Bluish-black fruit will form on female trees if male trees are nearby.  Fruit resembles small olives and attracts birds.  Leaves turn yellow, orange, or red before they drop in fall.

Optimum conditions for growth

Sour gums make good shade trees.  They do best in areas with full sun or partial shade. Plant in deep, acidic soil.  Trees prefer moderate to regular amounts of water and well-drained soil but can tolerate poor-drained areas and some drought.

Pests and disorders of Nyssa spp.


Environmental disorders



Foliage of sour gum
Leaves of sour gum

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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