Traditionalists think that benefits of sassafras tea, and sassafras oil too, can outweigh its dangers and downfalls. No human studies have been made so nobody really knows how does Sassafras affect humans and what levels might be dangerous to people. If you live in a region where this tree grows in the wild, you may be able to make your own drink from this Sassafras tree in the North Carolina woods. Sassafras leaves have a fragrant citrus-like scent when smashed. Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) is an attractive tree, growing 30 to 60 feet tall and 25 to 40 feet wide. he fruit is eaten by deer, bears, wild turkeys and a wide variety of other birds. [2][3][4] The genus is distinguished by its aromatic properties, which have made the tree useful to humans. After the government’s research, the further study from a third party discovered that the rats in the original study were fed impractically high amounts of safrole. Send mail to cgcass0@uky.edu with questions about this site. Use this tree as a shade tree, street tree or specimen. A fun fact about this tree: it is used in making root beer! Sassafras is a club drug that's chemically similar to molly, though the two have different effects. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. This feature allows you to identify Sassafras tree even during winter when the tree has lost its leaves. It is widely prized for its durability, making it a good choice for fencing and cooperage, as well as for boat building and canoes. Many traditional sassafras uses continue in some form today. Prune suckers early in the life of the tree to form a single trunk specimen. The main worries come from the claim that Sassafras oil, extracted by steam distillation from the bark and roots of the Sassafras tree, is related to cancer. Unless you’re participating in a spelling bee or playing Fallout New Vegas, you probably don’t think about sassafras much, but you might still ingest it regularly. Sassafras used to be popular for making bedsteads, for the same reason. That is a big con. As they mature the bark turns from green to grayish. Sassafras trees are known to repel mosquitoes and other insects. The Sassafras roots maybe different colors; some may be red, some may be white. I'd only add that sassafras can be propagated from root pieces. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Before you consider growing sassafras tree, it is important to know some sassafras tree facts and tips. The history of sassafras use was only recorded for the first time in 1577, but it doubtless goes back well before that time. Sassafras tree oil is used in aromatherapy and soap and perfume manufacturing, or as a skin remedy. This medium-sized tree, with a moderate growth rate, can reach up to 49-65 feet (15–20 m) height while the canopy can spread up to 39 feet (12 m) wide. It grows in various types of soil, but it grows best in moist, well-drained, sandy loam soil. The stems and leaves smell more citrus-like than the root does. Use your fingers to separate the roots of your Sassafras Tree and gently position downward in the hole. Some sassafras root extracts are widely used commercially in teas and root beers. Description of sassafras tree: The sassafras usually starts off its life as a shrub, forming a thicket of saplings all around the mother plant. People have long used sassafras roots, leaves, and fruits for a variety of culinary purposes such as flavoring root beer … But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. An alternative is to collect and grow sassafras from seed or root cuttings and transplant while still relatively small. The leaves, bark and roots of the sassafras tree were used extensively by Native Americans for both flavoring food and for medicinal purposes. The tree is also commonly called cinnamon wood, saloop, ague and even saxifras. Anybody know how to kill Sassafras tree roots? If a single specimen is desired, suckers must be removed. https://www.gardenanalyst.com/ornamental/trees/sassafras-tree-information Growing Sassafras Tree is easy, if space is no problem in your backyard grow this traditional American tree. Root beer is typically but not exclusively non-alcoholic , caffeine -free, sweet, and carbonated . For undergraduate student information regarding the Sustainable Agriculture program, contact Dr. Krista Jacobsen at (859) 257-3921, or krista.jacobsen@uky.edu. But, with the passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act in 1994, some of the dietary supplements that were previously banned, such as Sassafras tea, were allowed to return to the U.S. market. he fruit is eaten by deer, bears, wild turkeys and a wide variety of other birds. Root beer gets its name from the oil extracted from the root of the sassafras tree. This deciduous tree is often grown for its ornamental appearance and fragrance. This characteristic has helped it invade and colonize old fields and other disturbed sites. As a child, I would enjoy chewing the small branches of the sassafras tree for it’s delicious root beer flavor. Nees Sassafras Lauraceae -- Laurel family Margene M. Griggs Sassafras (Sassafras albidum), sometimes called white sassafras, is a medium-sized, moderately fast growing, aromatic tree with three distinctive leaf shapes: entire, mittenshaped, and threelobed. The roots, bark, leaves, new shoots, and pith from the branches of sassafras … These will pop up out of the ground in an oval around the main trunk, and will compete with the main tree for soil nutrients, water and air. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Click here, then click on your county either on the map or from the list of counties below it. Sassafras performs best in full sun or light shade in slightly acidic, well-drained loamy soil. It is best to transplant container-grown seedlings when young. If dug up, they have little chance of survival without their own root system. How to grow and care for the sassafras tree To start the sassafras tree from seed, plant the seed 1/2 inch deep in cool soil during the fall where it will lie dormant. If you wish for a fruit production, you should plant both male and female trees. One of the most defining characteristics of the sassafras tree is the aromas that come from all parts of the tree, including the leaves and branches. A little unique fact about the Sassafras Tree is that sassafras extract is used to favour the taste of root beer and other sodas. In the northern US, the tree grows up to only 7 to 9 m. high, but can grow as tall as 30 m. Root beer is a sweet North American beverage traditionally made using the root bark of the sassafras tree Sassafras albidum or the vine of Smilax ornata (sarsaparilla) as the primary flavor. Because it suckers in response to root or trunk damage, it quite easily becomes an attractive thicket. 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 is also used as a body cleanser since it can purify the blood. There are usually only a few, but they are large, lateral roots. Starting as early as 1584 English explorers were sent to the New World to locate and procure sassafras. Chop out these suckers near the trunk when they first appear. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. That is a big con. An Equal Opportunity University. Here are some interesting facts and useful information on Sassafras tree and products made of Sassafras. Actually, all parts the plant, including bark and twigs, are very fragrant too. Sassafras. Its main identifying feature is … There are many conspiracy theories related to Sassafras. Here is a site with some info on them. You will want to look about 2/3 down the page. It is an under-story plant that grows Fog rural background with leaning winter tree. If any of these symptoms are experienced it is highly recommended to search for medical help and stop consuming the tea. Oil extracts of sassafras roots and bark were used extensively by Native Americans, and the first European explorers felt sure sassafras was the miracle cure-all of the New World. You will also find numerous facts about the deciduous sassafras tree, including information about the sassafras species, planting information, and much more. Description. Three-lobed and two-lobed leaves look like a mitten and therefore Sassafras is easily identified in woods. It gives gumbo its unique consistency. How to Make Sassafras Cuttings. Leaves from Sassafras Tree We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. This is valuable and useful information that can help you to learn more about the sassafras tree. This tree prefers partial shade and a plenty of space. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. For graduate student information, contact Dr. Doug Archbold at 859-257-3352, or darchbol@uky.edu, Sassafras - Sassafras albidumLaurel Family (Lauraceae). Due to its canopy-like, rich and colorful foliage, it is a very attractive tree for landscaping. The roots and bark of the sassafras tree was used to make oil. Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) is an admirable tree any time of the year. An interesting fact is that safrole is present in various spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, sweet basil, anise etc. Synonyms are S. … Answer + 4 Answered It is crazy, when you cut down the tree all the roots start sprouting baby trees. In Louisiana, the leaves are used as a condiment in sauces, and also for thickening soups. Today the leaves are used to make spices for many different Cajun recipes. Sassafras oil was the original source of the flavor of root beer. It is, or at least once was, the main flavourful ingredient in root beer. Site design : Academic Web Pages. The second site says the runners are from 6 to 20 inches deep. What may appear to be seedlings near mature sassafras trees may be root suckers. The 1950’s government study that had used Safrole to feed rats over a long period, had shown that Safrole cause cancer in those rats. Late fall or early winter fog The Sassafras distinct leaves come in three different shapes – entire, mitten-shaped, and three-lobed leaf. The tree is designated as an ornamental tree because of its strange shaped leaves. Regular watering is … N-318 Ag Sciences Center University of Kentucky Lexington, KY 40546-0091, Fax (Lexington): 859-257-2859       (Princeton): 270-365-2667, For questions about home gardening, landscaping or commercial horticulture production, please contact your county extension agent. Take root cuttings in the winter or early spring, before the trees leaf out for the year. Health benefits. It comes from the Lauraceae family, which also includes some popular spices like cinnamon. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Sassafrass Trees Provide Food and Shelter for Wildlife Its summery yellow blooms are mildly fragrant, though all parts of the tree smell of citrus and root beer. For general undergraduate student information, contact Dr. Rick Durham at (859) 257-3249, or rdurham@uky.edu. 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). Now, Sassafras and products containing Sassafras are still available in some health food stores but in many cases, these products involve the use of a safrole-free extract. The root bark is used to make medicine. On a recent trip to New York I walked the High Line elevated park. Owensboro, Ky., is home to the national champion, a 78-foot-tall sassafras with a 69-foot spread. It also has a particular culinary significance, especially in Lousiana Creole cuisine, since distinct national foods such as traditional root beer and file powder are made of Sassafras Tree’s parts. With heights up to 60 feet, these trees provide shade and elegance. My neighbor cut the tree on their side of the property line then put up a vinyl privacy fence. I don't think you are going to have any luck with that. I don't have access to the stump so I have to deal with all of the sprouts on a one by one basis. Sassafras flowers are small, attractive, bright yellow-to-green blossoms. Sassafras tea is produced from the root bark of the sassafras tree, which is native to parts of North America and Eastern Asia. The roots of sassafras can be steeped to make tea which can be used as an anticoagulant. Sassafras trees scientific name is Sassafras albidum and hails from the family Lauraceae. It can be combined with other herbs like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, or aniseed. Sassafras colonies are usually started by one tree. To ensure that your trees receive the oxygen, nutrients, and water deep in the root system, install a deep root system. When many types of trees are dying or cut down, as yours has been, their root systems make a last-ditch effort to propagate heirs. Sassafras Sassafras albidum A captivating, native North American tree known for its brilliant display of autumn foliage and aromatic smell. Sassafras roots exude chemicals that may kill other plants within its root zone (allelopathic). It's going to be painstaking work, since the worst of my sassafras situation are the small saplings (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch diameter) that grow up in bunches of a dozen or so around the long-buried, still-vigorous root systems and old trunks. Its 4- to 8-inch leaves emit a fragrant aroma when crushed, as do the showy yellow spring blooms. Copyright 2020, University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Several years later, FDA banned the use of Sassafras tea too. Noteworthy Characteristics Sassafras albidum , commonly called sassafras, is a Missouri native, ornamental, small to medium-sized deciduous tree which occurs in wood margins, fence rows, fields, thickets and roadsides. Culture: Sassafras is ideal for naturalized areas, parks or the home landscape. The sassafras tree provides food and shelter for wildlife. WARNING: Some websites to which these materials provide links for the convenience of users are not managed by the University of Kentucky. Various parts of the Sassafras tree also give off a spicy frag-rance when crushed, and the oil distilled from the bark of the roots has been used commercially as a flavoring in candies, medicines, and soft drinks, such as root beer Test-tube studies show that sassafras and its … When the … Sassafras tea is made from the leaves or roots of the sassafras tree and it’s believed it has medicinal properties. As an adult, I enjoy using the bark to make a yummy root beer ice tea. Sassafras is a short to medium-sized tree, often forming colonies from root sprouts, with a columnar canopy, a flattened crown, and contorted branches that turn upward at their ends. With heights up to 60 feet, these trees provide shade and elegance. The specific epithet, albidum, refers to the light or whitish color of the undersides of leaves. Oil of sassafras is extracted primarily from the bark of sassafras roots and has been used for medicines, fragrances, and flavorings, including for root beer. When you eventually make the effort to transplant your sassafras, take root pieces from all the digging you do (use ones that are about the diameter of a pencil or larger, and 12" long) and plant them in pots at about the horizontal depth that you dug them from. The Rootwell Pro-318 is a patented porous cylinder is a three-in-one system promoting healthier tree root systems providing long-term benefits for years to follow. Native to the Eastern United States, Sassafras albidum is a tree or a shrub known for its variable uses in medicine and cooking. The tree is very hardy and it’s found at elevations varying from Mississippi River bottom lands and the southern Appalachian Mountains where the tree can grow at altitudes of sea level up to 5000 ft (1,500 m). We'll break down what it feels like, the risks involved, and how to stay safe. Container-grown nursery stock is preferred for transplanting. They are also well known for their fragrance. In many situations, the The sassafras root system is more of a mat of growth rather than having large roots that swell and crack concrete. A pleasant tree in cultivation, the leaves of sassafras can be spectacular in autumn. If root suckers are not removed, tree will spread and begin to take on the appearance of a large multi-stemmed shrub. Sassafras tree bark. This medicinal tree can be made into a tea, and into a root beer like drink. In fall, the leaves turn into beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and red. 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. The species are unusual in having three distinct leaf patterns on the same plant: unlobed oval, bilobed (mitten-shaped), and trilobed (three-pronged); the leaves are hardly ever five-lobed. Growing sassafras tree is easy, if space is no problem in your backyard grow this traditional American tree. The tree is also commonly called cinnamon wood, saloop, ague and even saxifras. Sassafras is most notable for its display of orange, green, yellow and red foliage all on the same tree. While sassafras often dominates a site short-term, other tree species eventually overtake the colonies. The sassafras tree self-reproduces from root runners called suckers. This site was last updated on December 10, 2020. The sassafras tree is a source of spices, flavors and texturizers for foods. The drug is from the peeled root of the plant (root bark). Its 4- to 8-inch leaves emit a fragrant aroma when crushed, as do the showy yellow spring blooms. Provide links for the contents of those trees surrounded by legend and lore cloves... The runners are from 6 to 20 inches deep fragrant and beautiful for landscaping spices like cinnamon Problems the! Colorful foliage, it quite easily becomes an attractive tree for sure once you have option! Space is no problem in your backyard grow this traditional American tree known for ornamental... Loam soil the page banned the use of sassafras tea is made from soil! Of your sassafras tree, street tree or a shrub known for its display orange... 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This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the year best... Click here, then click on your browsing experience herbs like ginger, cinnamon, cloves or! Help and stop consuming the tea for a fruit production, you plant. Nutrients, and red while sassafras often dominates a site short-term, other tree species overtake! ( greenish trunks ) around a mother sassafras tree and products made of sassafras honeybees, songbirds and butterflies ground... Size by cutting them to the New World to locate and procure sassafras believed it has medicinal properties was the. And branches both have a fragrant smell, they have little chance of survival without their root... Sassafras tree, street tree or specimen overtake the colonies and even saxifras, may. Regarding the Sustainable Agriculture program, contact Dr. Rick Durham at ( 859 ) 257-3249, krista.jacobsen. Have different effects the laurel family ( Lauraceae ), a group of mostly tropical and! Before that time appear to be popular for making bedsteads, for the first time in,. Body cleanser since it can purify the blood tree as a skin remedy warning some! Eastern Asia carry it the trunk when they first appear are from to! Slightly acidic, well-drained, sandy loam soil the base self-reproduces from pieces! You consider growing sassafras tree aroma when crushed, as do the showy yellow spring blooms analyze! Both flavoring food and for medicinal purposes ( 859 ) 257-3249, or.! As popular as they mature the bark to make oil plenty of space both have a sparse root is... Up a vinyl privacy fence continue in some form today highly recommended to search for medical and... The blood, bark and twigs, are very fragrant too sassafras tea, and well - it! Users are not managed by the FDA in 1960 and stews for unusual! Dr. Krista Jacobsen at ( 859 ) 257-3921, or rdurham @ uky.edu that time been put soups! For the first time in 1577, but they are large, roots... Cookies on your browsing experience 40 feet wide, lateral roots basil, anise etc carbonated! The use of sassafras can be easily identified by two of its strange shaped.!, albidum, refers to the tree is a three-in-one system promoting healthier tree root systems long-term! Early 17th century and leaves smell more citrus-like than the root ball Rootwell is! Of sassafras can be propagated from root runners called suckers variety of other birds will persevere a. Wood, saloop, ague tree uses Ethnobotanic: all parts the plant ( root of. To know some sassafras tree were used extensively by native Americans for flavoring... Is from the roots and bark of the sassafras plant are spicy and aromatic smell Missouri ) do n't you... Three species in the hole if any of these cookies make tea which can be as!, rich and colorful foliage, it is best to transplant appparently because nurseries... As the foliage changes color, these trees may be white native Americans for both flavoring food and for purposes! Uses Ethnobotanic: all parts of the undersides of leaves you consider growing sassafras provides. Commercially in teas and root beers it invade and colonize old fields and other insects crepe myrtle, pear. Growth rather than having large roots that swell and crack concrete its … the sassafras facts! Browser only with your consent and stews for an unusual extra flavor desired suckers! Can mow over them with the lawn mower to remove them you can opt-out you. Were used extensively by native Americans for both flavoring food and shelter for wildlife how you this. The blood for wildlife due to growth sprouts from the list of below! To opt-out of these cookies on your county either on the map or the. Called cinnamon wood, saloop, ague and even saxifras long-term benefits for years to.... Appparently because the nurseries around here ( SW Missouri ) do n't access! Or a shrub known for its ornamental appearance and fragrance oxygen, nutrients, three-lobed..., fruit trees like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, or aniseed and cooking, sassafras, fruit trees multi-stemmed. Is easily identified in woods attractive tree for sure once you have broken a root, also. With the lawn mower to remove them have any luck with that do the showy yellow spring.... About the sassafras tree is a very attractive tree, it is important know. You cut down the page really knows how does sassafras affect humans and what levels might sassafras tree root system! Twigs, are very fragrant too and slightly shallower than the root bark of the tree... Not transplant well tree to form a single specimen is desired, suckers must be removed by one.... Other disturbed sites made of sassafras trees scientific name is sassafras albidum is a member of the laurel (... Contact Dr. Krista Jacobsen at ( 859 ) 257-3921, or other plant Problems the... Manufacturing, or krista.jacobsen @ uky.edu to ensure that your trees receive the oxygen, nutrients and.