Sassafras was touted in Europe as America's herbal curative because of purported miraculous outcomes from the sick who drank sassafras tea. The leaves have no teeth or sharp points and grow 4 to 6 inches long. This variety of texture and color is unrivaled making this tree great a beautiful choice for a Fall foliage tree. Sassafras trees grow throughout most of the eastern United States and west of the Mississippi River into Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, and eastern Texas and Oklahoma. Sassafras flowers are small, attractive, bright yellow-to-green blossoms. Sassafras is a pioneer tree that spreads to semi-open areas with reduced competition. This tree is fast-growing species with up to 24 inches of growth per year. If you love a yard that attracts birds and wildlife, then this tree is for you. Whether planted along streets or highway medians or nurtured as multi-trunk shade trees or specimens in garden landscapes. The Sassafras tree is a medium-sized tree valued for its many unique features. You'll love the green-yellow flowers that appear in the spring. The flowers are small and geenish-yellow and are produced in large clusters in April and May. Sassafras tree oil is used in aromatherapy and soap and perfume manufacturing, or as a skin remedy. Snapped twigs emit a more pronounced scent than the leaves. Shipped 1-1½' tall. Use the known geographic range of the sassafras to help you decide if it grows in your part of the U.S. Sassafras exists from extreme southern Maine and New Hampshire southward to the upper third of Florida. Sassafras albidum, commonly known as the sassafras tree, is a medium-sized tree that is found across the eastern half of the United States. All parts of the plants are fragrant. The Sassafras tree is a fragrant, warm weather tree found throughout the American South where it is well-known for its striking fall foliage and shapely height. It eventually forms a flat-topped tree with an irregular head, reaching about 40 to 60 feet in height. Loam, sand, clay and acidic soils are suitable for this tree as is full sun, partial sun, and even partial shade. Sassafras Tree . Commercial food and beverage products containing sassafras extract or oil can only be sold if the safrole has been removed. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Sassafras tree (Sassafras albidum) is a very common native plant in the Eastern United States.It is often seen in clumps of weedy saplings, but as sassafrases mature they can grow to be large trees. Showy yellow flowers appear in the spring. The Sassafras trees arrived healthy and looked very nice. Combine these attributes with a unique fall display and each of the senses is satisfied. In the 1960s, researchers found that safrole – a key component in sassafras products – caused cancer in laboratory rats. Though the flowers yield colorful fruit in spring, the sweet drupes are rapidly removed by hungry wildlife. According to the Champion Tree National Register, the largest sassafras in the country is 62 feet tall, has a crown spread of 51 feet, and is found in Daviess County, KY. The exterior is a dull grayish brown, while the inner bark is a deep reddish brown, like cinnamon. Louisiana Plant ID is an online resource for images and descrptions of Louisiana plants and ecosystems. It starts out with a shrub-like appearance, so would do well in a naturalized area of your landscape or a backyard setting. Sassafras yields an array of colors, from pink and orange to deep purple and scarlet Autumn leaves. Images are provided in galleries and are available by common name, scientific name, family, ecosystem, and wetland indicator status. Here are a few ways to integrate this lovely specimen into your yard or garden. Three-lobed leaves are more common in Sassafras tzumu and Sassafras randaiense than in their North American counterparts, although three-lobed leaves do so… Because of the plant’s deep taproot, it can be propagated more easily from small saplings than from seeds. Though found primarily in the American South, this is successful in northern climates and is surprisingly tolerant of a wide range of soils. Sassafras is the primary ingredient in traditional root beer as well as being used in the production of MDMA(ecstasy) and MDA. Leaves may appear as unlobed ovals, mitten-shaped with a large lobe and a smaller “thumb” lobe or with three lobes. She worked as a researcher and analyst in the biotech industry and a science editor for an educational publishing company prior to her career as a freelance writer and editor. An interesting tree. The iconic three-lobed lush sassafras leaves grow to create a thick, full green canopy all summer long. The oils extracted from the roots and bark are also used in perfumes and soaps. (Picture taken end … A pleasant tree in cultivation, the leaves of sassafras can be spectacular in autumn. Sassafras extract was used for centuries in medicines, beverages, foods and perfumes. Sassafras trees have single, double or triple lobed leaves that exude a fragrant, citrus-like scent and the Sassafras roots contain safrole, a chemical once widely used in soaps, perfumes and cooking. Sassafras trees are found throughout the Eastern United States and even into eastern Texas and Oklahoma. One cup of tea made with 2.5 grams of sassafras contains about 200 mg of safrole. Trees in the southern part of the species' range generally grow taller than trees in the north. Description of sassafras tree: The sassafras usually starts off its life as a shrub, forming a thicket of saplings all around the mother plant. Here's a bunch of seedlings (greenish trunks) around a mother sassafras tree (brown trunk). Grows 30-60' high and 25-40' wide. Sassafras trees grow from 9–35 m (30–115 ft) tall with many slender sympodial branches, and smooth, orange-brown bark or yellow bark. You need a field guide for comparison. Sassafras Tree. Mentzer graduated from Rutgers University with degrees in Anthropology and Biological Sciences. The Sassafras Tree roots, stems, leaves, bark, flowers and fruit have been used over history for different purposes in medicine, culinary cooking and benfits of the sassafras woods aromatic nature. The leaves of the sassafras tree are distinct due to their rounded edges and lobed shape. Close-up of Sassafras flowers, which appear in the spring before the leaves. This native tree is an in fall must have! Stunning Shade and Color Why Sassafras Trees? In early spring, clusters of small yellow flowers smother the tree. One of them is Sassafras Tree’s distinctive and unusual foliage. The highest concentration in aromatic compounds are found in the inner bark and the roots. However, when they have their leaves, they are very easy to identify. Sassafras is common in Kentucky and is one of the first trees to grow in abandoned fields (with the help of visiting birds that love to eat the tree's fruit). It can be found in woodlands, fields and along roadsides and has adapted to various acidic soils. A child on one of my foraging walks once told me that were really 4 different shapes - there's a left mitten and a right mitten. Although most of us would regard this as a small to medium-sized tree, a specimen over 6 feet d.b.h. Suitable for a majority of landscapes, the sassafras tree is a sight to behold. A.P. And he was right! Crushing the leaves releases a sweet, aromatic fragrance. They have good root systems. Sassafras trees are usually easy to identify by taking all of these features into consideration, with identification completed in … Setting this tree amid evergreen specimens makes the accented pop of gorgeous colors. They often spring up in abandoned fields as a pioneer species. Too bad the locals don’t respect it — there was a lot of trash around the base of the tree. The bark is reddish brown with corky ridges. The sassafras is an aromatic decidious tree that grows to between 20 and 50 ft. in height.It is native to the Eastern parts of North America and also grows in canada. Sassafras tree is mildly fragrant and beautiful for landscaping, it … Before you consider growing sassafras tree, it is important to know some sassafras tree facts and tips. The leaves, bark and roots give off a sweet, spicy scent when crushed that is reminiscent of root beer, vanilla and oranges. This is valuable and useful information that can help you to learn more about the sassafras tree. How To Identify A Sassafras Tree. In the northernmost sections of its range, sassafras exists as a low, understory shrub with trunk diameters of only 6 to 8 inches. It was last measured in 2016. Young roots can be dug without harming the tree due the large, central taproot of sassafras trees. Sassafras is a deciduous tree that is native to eastern and central USA and is found in all areas of NC except the higher mountains. Those claims were exaggerated but the tree did prove to have attractive aromatic qualities and the "rootbeer" flavor of the root's tea (now considered a mild carcinogen) was enjoyed by Native Americans. Cold, prolonged winters seem to be the factor limiting the northward distribution of the tree. Sassafras trees grow about 60 feet tall and usually have a bushy appearance due to numerous suckers that emerge around the trunk and the twisting growth of the branches. • The Sassafras Tree is an odd shade tree which actually has three different leaf structure on a single plant. Sassafras Trees have bold colors across all seasons, kicking off the spring with tons of bright yellow blooms to brighten up the scenery. Sassafras is a fairly common early-successional small tree or large shrub (in the Durham area) with aromatic leaves, twigs, and roots. The surface of the light green leaves, both above and below, is slightly fuzzy. It should have a definite root beer smell. Sassafras Trees. A deciduous tree (or shrub) native to North America, growing sassafras trees can grow to 30 to 60 feet tall by 25 to 40 feet wide with a rounded canopy made up of short layered branches. They seldom require pruning and are capable of withstanding drought. Small sassafras tree. Suitable for a majority of landscapes, the sassafras is a sight to behold. The Sassafras tree is a fragrant, warm weather tree found throughout the American South where it is well-known for its striking fall foliage and shapely height. Sassafras is shade intolerant and does not grow well in shady locations. This keeps maintenance and upkeep reasonably low. Leaf edges of sassafras are smooth, no teeth. In wooded areas, it benefits from wind-storms and ice-storms that knock over large canopy trees. University of Florida – 4-H Forest Resources: Sassafras, North Carolina State University Extension: Sassafras Albidum, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service: Sassafras, Virginia Tech Dendrology: Landowner Fact Sheet – Sassafras. They grow at forest edges, in hedgerows, in open fields and along roadsides. The tree's sturdy branches and dense crown provide habitat and winter interest. Growing Sassafras Tree is easy, if space is no problem in your backyard grow this traditional American tree. An adult Sassafras Tree is expected to be around 60 inches tall. You'll find 3 different shaped leaves on the same tree- an oval leaf, a mitten, and a three-lobed leaf. Sassafras trees are medium- to fast-growing and do well in mass plantings. The broad, deciduous leaves also contrast nicely against fine pine needles. The bark of mature sassafras trees is thick with deep furrows. The overwhelming positive feature of this tree in one word is "fragrant". They are also pest and disease resistant. Leaves on mature trees are normally unlobed, but those of young trees are quite variable, and often have one or two lobes. The bark of the tree varies from a red to orange through to shades of brown and grey. The large taproot makes it difficult to transplant, and sassafras trees send out root suckers, creating a multistemmed shrub or colony if … iPIX Interactive ecosystem images in 360 degrees with links to individual plant information are featured as well as Zoomify images of selected characteristics. AL-Trees of Alabama and the Southeast (SAAL5) CT-University of Connecticut Plant Database (SAAL5) DE-University of Delaware (SAAL5) FL-Floridata (SAAL5) FL-University of Florida Horticulture (USFS Fact Sheet) (SAAL5) IA-Iowa State University Dendrology (SAAL5) LA-Louisiana Ecosystems and Plant Identification (SAAL5) MO-Missouri Plants (SAAL5) Loved reading about this old, old tree on the historical plaque nearby. All parts of the tree are aromatic. If you find the large trees the little ones will be scattered around them. They are pyramidal in shape with leaves between 4- to 8-inches wide. Identify sassafras trees by examining the leaves, bark, tree height, flowers, fruit, scent and geographic location of the trees. The species are unusual in having three distinct leafpatterns on the same plant: unlobed oval, bilobed (mitten-shaped), and trilobed (three-pronged); the leaves are hardly ever five-lobed. So happy that I found this supplier. By sight, the trees are most readily identified by their smooth, lobed leaves. Sassafras used to be popular for making bedsteads, for the same reason. Tea can be made by steeping dried pieces of sassafras root in boiling water. With heights up to 60 feet and a 40-foot spread, these trees provide shade and elegance. Sassafras albidum, commonly known as the sassafras tree, is a medium-sized tree that is found across the eastern half of the United States.Sassafras trees grow about 60 feet tall and usually have a bushy appearance due to numerous suckers that emerge around the trunk and the twisting growth of … In Cajun cuisine, file powder comes from dried and ground leaves of sassafras trees and is used to thicken gumbo and other stews. Once established sassafras can produce root sprouts which is why you often see it in dense thickets along roads and in abandoned fields. Sassafras Tree can be easily identified by two of its features. Alissa enjoys writing about life science and medical topics, as well as science activities for children. In the summer, the unique, bright green, mitten-shaped fragrant leaves adorn this nicely shaped tree and give way in fall to show stopping colors in purple and scarlet hues. and 100 feet tall has been reported. The tree's fragrant leaves have long held medicinal purposes, and the roots have been used to make beverages and other edibles. Sassafras is a tree commonly found throughout the eastern United States that grows up to about 60 feet in height. With heights up to 60 feet, these trees provide shade and elegance. These trees also produce a blue fruit that is appealing and frequently consumed by birds. From there, the range extends east through much of Pennsylvania, western New York State and back into Southern … Leaves are 3"–7" long, bright to medium green in summer changing to enchanting colors of yellow, deep orange, scarlet and purple in the fall. Sassafras oil produced from the bark and roots was long used in folk medicine as a tonic to treat a variety of ailments. If you find sucker that you believe to be a sassafras, go ahead and pull it up and take a sniff of the root area where it connects to the parent tree’s root. The border of sassafras’s range follows the Gulf Coast to East Texas and goes north through eastern Oklahoma, most of Missouri and into the southern half of Illinois to Lower Michigan. As they mature the bark turns from green to grayish. Owensboro, Ky., is home to the national champion, a 78-foot-tall sassafras with a 69-foot spread. A good sassafras tree is hard to find. Widely used by Native Americans, it was also popular among settlers and shipped back to England. But sassafras tea contains a lot of safrole, the chemical in sassafras that makes it poisonous. Sassafras are deciduous trees, meaning that they lose their leaves each year. Faunal Associations: The flowers are cross-pollinated primarily by small bees (Halictid, Andrenid) and a variety of flies. Will not hesitate to buy again. Sassafras Sassafras albidum A captivating, native North American tree known for its brilliant display of autumn foliage and aromatic smell. The bark covering the sassafras roots was used to make tea and flavor root beer and candy. Sassafras Tree is a medium-sized deciduous tree with alternate leaves. Most sassafras oils and extracts come from the roots. Actually, it’s a grouping of sassafras trees, the feature tree being the massive one. Once established, sassafras trees require very little care as long as … Sassafras tree bark.