American sassafras

American sassafras is a medium sized aromatic tree important to wildlife and the perfume industry. 

Latin Name

Sassafras officinale

Other Common Names

red sassafras, golden elm, cinnamon wood


American sassafras trees grow small in the north and tend to develop pockets around parent trees. They are distributed throughout the eastern, central and southern USA and as far west as eastern Texas in natural hardwood forests on all types of soil.


Forest Inventory Analysis (FIA) data shows U.S. sassafras growing stock is 45 million m3, only 0.3% of total U.S. hardwood growing stock. American sassafras is growing 527,000 m3 per year while the harvest is 480,000 m3 per year. The net volume (after harvest) is increasing 47,000 m3 each year.

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