Sour Gum has the most unbelievable glossy orange to red fall color and silvery bark that creates great winter interest. Sour Gum’s ecological niche is very interesting in that it grows in wetlands and on ridge tops. Most trees would grow in one area or the o ... ther, but not both. Needs plenty of sun and good garden soil. Since it grows natively no farther north than southern Cook County, it is best planted in a site protected from the west winds. The dark blue fruit is devoured by birds in September.