If you have enough space in the garden, then Growing Sassafras Tree makes perfect sense! Let’s know everything about this traditional American tree.
Growing Sassafras Tree is easy and this way, you can introduce a tall specimen in your front garden that’s also going to provide you some privacy too!
USDA Zones: 5 to 9
Other Names: Ague Tree, Bois de Cannelle, Cinnamon Wood, Common Sassafras, Kuntze Saloop, Laurier des Iroquois, Laurus albida, Saloop, Sasafras, Sassafrax, Sassafras albidum, Sassafras officinale, Sassafras variifolium, Saxifrax.
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About Sassafras Tree
Sassafras tree is mildly fragrant and one of the most beautiful trees for landscaping. It is native to North America and can grow up to 40-80 feet tall. All parts of the tree are aromatic, and the leaves release a citrus-like smell when crushed. Its yellow flowers bloom in summer and smell like root beer. The foliage takes a stunning orange-red hue in autumn.
All parts of the sassafras tree are useful and used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Its leaves and flowers are used in salads and to flavor many other dishes.
Growing Sassafras Tree
You can grow the tree from seeds but it will take a lot of time, so it’s better that you purchase a well-grown specimen from a nursery. Transplant it to a location where the tree can get a lot of direct sunlight. Sassafras tree grows well in dry and sandy soil. Mature trees can grow wide and large so grow them at least 15 to 20 feet away from buildings or other large objects.
Sassafras Tree Facts
Sassafras trees are known to repel mosquitoes and other insects. The rich flavor from sassafras roots has also been put in soups and stews for an unusual extra flavor. It also attracts wildlife too.
Note: Root bark of sassafras contains safrole, which is carcinogenic, and is harmful for human consumption.
Check out some amazing Sassafras Tree Facts here
Regular light pruning prevents the development of suckers, which appear around the base, and the tree grows tall and looks more ornamental. If you prefer to have it with a single trunk, cut off the suckers just below the surface of the soil. You can also leave the suckers in place for a more shrubby and dense shape.
There are male and female flowers on separate sassafras trees and only female ones produce fruits after flowering. These fruits are loved by birds!
Pests and Diseases
Scales, Japanese beetles, weevils, and moths can affect it but the damage is minimal and you do not need any steps to control these pests.
Fungal diseases such as leaf spot can also affect sassafras trees but rarely requires treatment. Verticillium wilt is another fungal disease, that infects the tree, making the branches wilt and die. A healthy mature tree can usually recover from the damage, but there is no real cure for the disease. Still, you can prune infected branches completely to avoid them from spreading further.