Re: [gardeners] Sassafras

Allen and Judy Merten (
Thu, 22 Oct 1998 03:08:35 -0500

Hi Linda,
    File is pronounced "Fee-lay".
Bastrop Co.,Tx

Linda Baranowski-Smith wrote:

> George wrote:
> >I've been running around the woods of SE Texas and SW Louisiana all my
> >life and have never seen a sassafras tree with seeds. Doesn't mean there
> >aren't any, just I never saw any. I have a small, 6 foot, sassafras
> >growing behind the house and now have two or three 6 inch trees coming
> >up 20 to 30 feet away. Just assumed they came up from the roots. This is
> >interesting, let us know what you find out. Sassafras trees are a way of
> >life down here, that's where gumbo file comes from, ground up sassafras
> >leaves.
> >
> ...oh me oh my ohhh...
> Crawfish pie n' file gumbo...
> Son of a gun, gonna have big fun on the bayou..
> Jumblayah...
> Oops, can't help myself.  Had to burst into song. :o  Is it file or filet
> (fill-lay)?  Heard it called "zab" also.
> Back to sassafras...  Still don't know anything.  Others have suggested the
> birds may eat all the seed before they mature.  Male and female flowers are
> on separate trees.  The fruit is a dark blue drupe, about 1/2 inch long,
> and on the end of a red, fleshy stalk.  I look at our trees year round from
> the windows and I think I'd notice.  Other folks around here have never
> seen the seed either.  Maybe all the local trees are male.
> One of our trees is about 30 feet tall and yes, it puts out suckers away
> from the tree.  I've let a few of them mature.  My understanding is that
> the suckers have to be root pruned the first year in order to survive a
> transplanting the second year.
> I need seed though because I can't take a tree to Canada.  I may have to
> wait until next year to track this interesting question before September
> rolls around.  Will let y'all know if I find the answer. :)
> Linda in NW Ohio near Toledo/Lake Erie, USDA Zone 5