I have run across a tree, while clearing land in Des Allemands, LA, whose roots are a dead ringer for sassafras. In flavor, anyway. They don't look like sassafras roots.
The reason I made tea from the roots is the smell of the trees as I was cutting them down. Every part of the tree is aromatic, leaves, bark, wood, and roots. Every part of the tree.
But it's not sassafras.
I've contacted a flock of plant people, and they have no idea what this tree is. I asked the folks that live around Des Allemands, and they have no idea what this tree is. (I find that sadly astounding.)
The trees attain at least 25 feet, have emerald green bark on the new wood, that gradually goes black as the tree ages.
The mature bark is gray, with a finely patterned vertical development.
The roots are white, while the sassafras I know are red.(The tea comes out red, though.)
The leaves are reminicent of sour orange leaves. Not the fig-like leaves of a true sassafras.
The USDA does me no good here. They just send me to websites that know no more than I do.
I hope someone can identify this tree for me. I would like to take a sapling back to Texas with me.
The Bosque county extension agent referred me to St Charles Parrish. They don't know what it is.
The hunters, trappers and fishermen around here don't know what it is.
The leaves taste more like pine than sassafras.