The black gum tree (Nyssa sylvatica) is a native medium-sized deciduous tree with a slow growth rate. It generally grows in a rounded shape with a straight trunk. The leaves are approximately 3 to 6 inches in length. The leaves change from a dark glossy green to brilliant shades of red, orange, yellow, and purple in the fall. Tiny flowers in the spring give way to small dark blue fruits that are edible but sour, though they tend to attract birds and other wildlife. This tree is best planted in the spring.