Nyssa sylvatica

Tupelo tree



Nyssa sylvatica will grow to a height of 20m in the Atlantic bioregion of Europe. With an average crown width of 12m it has a crown height-diameter ratio of 1,5:1. In normal growing conditions they have conical crowns and a branching structure that lends a slight saw-tooth profile to the crown. Left to grow naturally crowns typically extend almost to the ground, with a crown-to-height ratio of 0,8-0,9:1.

Allometric development

N. sylvatica can reach an age of 500 years and a height of 25m in their native North American bioregions (Laurentia & Dixon). Young tupelo trees have distinctive conical crowns with a width-height ratio of 1:1,5. As the crown matures it takes on a more ellipsoid, and in some cases irregular form, but commonly retains the same width-height proportion as younger specimens.

Braun, E. Lucy. 1961. The woody plants of Ohio. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press.

Nyssa sylvatica


Plagiotropic growth of branches on young trees is markedly horizontal, but mature branches will droop distinctly as the tree ages. The central bole is typically vertical and straight, which persists through to maturity, but trunks may divide in the top third of the canopy as the tree ages. With an average 4-8 lateral branches per metre length of the main bole and a relative profusion of branchlets, N. sylvatica displays a characteristically dense array of woody material.

Nyssa sylvatica


This wood structure supports an even and relatively compact foliage consisting of dense clusters of leaves spaced alternately along branchlets. Leaves are between 5cm and 12cm long, obovate to elliptic, and slightly toothed. They are shiny, leathery and dark green in colour, with paler undersides.

Autumn leaf colour varies from dark-red to orange with occasional yellow tints. Leaf area indexes for Tupelo trees range from … to …

N. sylvatica is a deciduous tree with an average in-leaf season in climate zone CfB of 200 days.

Nyssa sylvatica

Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray’s manual of botany. Portland, OR: Dioscorides Press.


Bean, W. J. (1970). Trees and shrubs hardy in the British Isles vol 1. London: John Murray publishers.
Leonardi, C., & Stagi, F. (2019). The Architecture of Trees. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
D. More & J. White (2013). Illustrated trees of Britain & Europe. London, UK: Domino by Bloomsbury
Krüssmann, G. (1986). Manual of cultivated broad-leaved trees & shrubs vol 2.



Nyssa sylvatica


Nyssa sylvatica


Nyssa sylvatica