Black Tupelo: Recommended New Montgomery County, Maryland Tree

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Black Tupelo: Recommended New Montgomery County, Maryland Tree

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich is recommending, through legislation, the designation of the black tupelo as the newest County symbol. The black tupelo was selected for recommendation as a County tree based on a selection process conducted by the Forest Conservation Advisory Committee (FCAC) at the request of the Department of Environmental Protection.

The black tupelo, a common name for the Nyssa sylvatica and also known as blackgum, sourgum, pepperidge, tupelo and tupelo-gum, was unanimously supported by the FCAC. Along with Maryland’s State Tree, the white oak, the designation of black tupelo as Montgomery County’s tree will both celebrate the species and promote all trees.

The largest known black tupelo tree in Maryland is in Silver Spring. In 2019, the tree measured 5 ½ feet in diameter, was 94 feet tall and had a spread of 94 feet. Experts believe this tree is at least 120 years old.

“The black tupelo is resilient, beautiful, and critical to our County’s ecosystem and tree canopy—a perfect symbol for Montgomery County as our official tree,” said County Executive Elrich. “Trees have a positive influence on nearly all aspects of our lives. From lowering summertime temperatures—thereby reducing need for energy and reducing air pollution—to improving our health and sense of well-being, trees are a key part of our climate action plan. It is my honor to recommend the black tupelo as the official Montgomery County tree and I thank Forest Conversation Advisory Committee for this recommendation.”

The black tupelo, native to Montgomery County and most of the eastern United States, is available in most local nurseries and through Tree Montgomery, a program that provides and plants free shade trees across the County. The black tupelo is one of the most requested trees of the Tree Montgomery program as it is a large and long-lived shade tree commonly found across the County. It is resilient to pests and diseases and popular for pollinators and most wildlife. It is small cherry-like fruit are favorites for birds. The black tupelo’s lustrous dark green leaves change to fluorescent yellow, orange, scarlet and purple each fall.

“As we look for ways to improve our environment and surroundings, planting native trees is a priority,” said DEP Director Adam Ortiz. “Through programs such as Tree Montgomery, the Department of Environmental Protection continues to work with residents and our business community to encourage and support shade tree plantings in our County. With the naming of the black tupelo as the County tree, we hope to bring more awareness to the important role that trees and tree canopies have for addressing climate change.”

The legislation submitted to the Council modifies the County’s current law to designate an official tree alongside the already designated robin as the County bird and dogwood as the County blossom.

For information on where to get a black tupelo tree visit:

For more information on champion and big trees in Maryland and Montgomery County visit:


This is a Montgomery County, Maryland announcement.



County tree event photos


May be an image of Roy Kelley and outdoors

Roy Kelley at Dumbarton Oaks Gardens, Washington, DC USA
Canon PowerShot S90 Camera
Photograph by Dolores Kelley
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs
Posted by

Roy Kelley, Associate Broker

Realty Group Referrals (Retired from RE/MAX Realty Group)

6 Montgomery Village Ave., Suite 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20879

Office:  301-258-7757 

Comments (19)

Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

Roy, That last photo of you that you included is outstanding. A frame for that one is definitely needed!

Oct 20, 2021 04:06 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Roy - I can't say I am familiar with this tree so thank you for sharing the knowledge as well as the photos.  Trees not only enhance our landscape but our well-being.  

Oct 20, 2021 04:30 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Roy - that is certainly a worthwhile endeaver.  I am sure it will be proudly displayed on county symbols.

Oct 20, 2021 04:49 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Roy... that's quite a tree... and I found your post interesting as it had all sorts of information I knew nothing about. Love that final picture of you.

Oct 20, 2021 05:04 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I have never heard of that type of tree before but it looks like they are big.  Such a cool photo of you with the tree!

Oct 20, 2021 05:09 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Roy. And now I know is all I can say! Never heard of the Black Tupelo but it sounds like an excellent choice. Enjoy your day.

Oct 20, 2021 05:12 AM
Tony Busanich
TD Bank - Freehold, NJ

Thank you Roy for the post and information, I always enjoy reading your post. 

Oct 20, 2021 05:47 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Roy, this is a great idea, and never heard of this kind of tree.  Love that photo of you!  

Oct 20, 2021 06:31 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Love the picture of you, and thank you for the information on the Black Tupelo.  I love trees, and this one is beautiful. A

Oct 20, 2021 07:39 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

That's a neat photo of you, Roy!  And, that's a magnificent tree pictured at the top.

Oct 21, 2021 02:23 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Hey there Roy! Yes, that is certainly quite a tree

Oct 22, 2021 03:48 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

19,849 Flu Vaccine Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Oct 23, 2021 07:31 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for your comments. It is always good to hear from you.

Oct 25, 2021 06:12 AM