Just as an aside to OW's post.

I mentioned the Black Gum tree can be used as a tooth brush. That was/is a serious statement.

I also think that one of the 10 top critical things one needs is knowledge.

So here is a brief statement of the Black Gum:

About the Black Gum - Nyssa sylvatica
The Blackgum tree, Nyssa sylvatica, is also known as the Black Tupelo or Sourgum. Blackgum trees are considered one of our most beautiful native trees. It is thought of as one of the five best shade trees in America. The Black tupelo tree makes an excellent specimen tree with its outstanding summer and fall foliage and habit> It is lovely in a naturalized area. The Blackgum has moderate water requirements, and displays a moderate tolerance to salt and alkali soils.

This deciduous trees has outstanding scarlet fall color and displays a lustrous dark green color in the summer. The tree is pyramidal when young and then opens with age. Some branches are pendulous and the right-angled branches are attractive in winter. It is a good street tree that casts light shade. It does not tolerate standing water. The Blackgum tree is a honey plant for bees and the fruit attracts birds.