Sourwood Tree

Tips for Planting a Sourwood Tree

While the name may not show it, the Sourwood tree is actually a beautiful addition to most landscaping plans. The name comes from the fact that the leaves, which were once used for medicinal purposes, have a sour taste.

The Sourwood tree produces blooms that have earned it a nickname: The Lily of the Valley Tree. This nickname stuck because of how much the small blooms resemble that well loved flower.

Growing a Sourwood tree is not difficult if you follow a couple of very simple tips.

Where to Plant

Choosing the best location for your Sourwood tree is one of the most important decisions that you will make. The tree does best in full sunlight. It is important to keep in mind that while the tree is quite hardy, the roots are rather delicate. For that reason, it is important not to plant the tree too close to other plants that may harm the roots.

The Sourwood tree can spread as far as 15 feet, so keep that in mind when looking for the perfect spot.

When to Plant

The best time to plant will depend on the weather in the location that you live. In general, the best time to plant is the spring, but you should seek area specific advice from the experts at your local nursery.


After measuring the root ball, you will need to dig a hole that is about four times that size. The hole should be equal in width and in depth.

When you place the tree in the hole, you may need to pack a bit of soil around the roots in order to be sure that the tree is quite stable.

Next, fill the hole with water and allow enough time for the Sourwood tree to absorb the water. Only then should you fill the hole with well draining soil and water again.


While the Sourwood tree is generally resistant to pests and disease, it is a good idea to cover the surrounding area with mulch.  This will not only help the tree stay moist, but it will also reduce the amount of time you need to spend tending to the tree by reducing the number of weeds.


There are benefits to including a Sourwood tree in your landscaping besides the fact that it is beautiful and fragrant.

The tree is not only beautiful when it is blooming, but it makes a great addition in the autumn as well at which time the leaves turn shades of red and orange.

Another wonderful benefit of planting a Sourwood tree is that deer love to feed on the branches. Depending on where you live, the addition of this tree could mean a chance to view these lovely creatures up close.

Whether you use it for shade, in front of larger trees or even as a focal point in your yard, the easy to grow and care for Sourwood tree is sure to be a wonderful addition to your landscaping plans.



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