A big year for sassafras expansion in the northeast US?

I wondered if anyone also noticed a great expansion of Sassafras albidum stems this year. It has been a very wet year in the northeast which I’m sure is part of it. I mostly observe in the conservation lands of inner Boston suburbs, where sassafras plants are relatively rare.

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Concerning this year’s crop of new sassafras seedlings, it seems to me like any other year (at least in the places I frequent in Connecticut) What I have noticed though is a proliferation of second year trees. In some spots it’s almost a monoculture of them. I assume this is due to 2021 being incredibly wet in New England, and that translated into a bumper crop of sassafras fruit that germinated in 2022.

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I actually am thinking these are clonal sprouts from roots as opposed to seedlings. In my own yard where I planted a sassafras many years ago which has not bloomed, I am also seeing these young stems.

I’m also seeing a few on the east side of the Connecticut river, in areas you wouldn’t have expected.


Cool. I’m convinced I’m seeing something different this year.

Interesting to keep your eye on them. I’m wondering whether in the areas I am seeing them whether they might give some invasives a run for their money.

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