Sweet gum wood is the second most utilized commercial wood in the United States, after oak. Stems often have corky and attractive wings during the second year. Description of sweet gum tree: The sweet gum has a pyramidal habit when young, eventually becoming rounded and tall -- up to more than 100 feet. ► It thrives well in both acidic soil and alkaline soil, and ponds and streams are its predominant areas. Fern Fischer's print and online work has appeared in publications such as Midwest Gardening, Dolls, Workbasket, Quilts for Today and Cooking Fresh. Mature Sweet Gum trees have what is known as an Ovular shape. American sweetgum grows on moist, well-drained soil in areas that provide plenty of sun. Deep South Homestead 13,768 views. ► The tree ranges between 80 to 150 feet in height. Yellowish-green flowers develop in late spring and are not particularly showy. However, this long-lived tree - the sweet gum can live more than 150 years -doesn't flower or produce seed for the first 15 to 20 years of its growth. Sweetgum1 Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson2 INTRODUCTION Sweetgum grows in a … The plants produce upright spikes of greenish male flowers and round drooping clusters of female flowers on the same tree. It maintains a remarkable degree of uniformity as it grows upward with the top of the column about the same width as the base. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, Illinois State Museum: Trees: Sweet Gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), The Assateague Naturalist: Sweetgum Tree (Liquidambar styraciflua). It is considered a hardwood species with wood weighing 52 pounds per cubic foot and is used in furniture and plywood. A sweet gum is a deciduous tree in the witch hazel family that ranges in height from 60 to 100 feet and has a narrow oval canopy. The bark has astringent properties and addresses dysentery and diarrhea. The fine hardwood is used to make flooring, furniture and veneers, cabinetry and paneling. The American sweet gum tree, Liquidambar styraciflua, grows in eastern woodlands from southern Connecticut to northern Illinois to Texas to central Florida. The trunk of a … The bark is grayish brown and deeply furrowed. These trees need plenty of room to grow, both above and below ground. Other common names include gum trees, redgum, satin-walnut, star-leaved gum, alligator-wood, hazel pine, and American storax. Museum.state.il.us: Sweet Gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), The Best Fast-Growing Trees to Camouflage the House Behind Us, Easy-to-Care-for Ornamental Trees for Landscape. Slender Silhouette is a beanpole of a plant, growing 50 feet tall or higher, with a spread of 5 feet at the base. Sweet gum trees may reach heights from 80 to 150 feet, and they may spread to 45 feet wide. The star-shaped, glossy green leaves have a pleasant smell if crushed. The American sweetgum tree reaches 60 to 70 feet at full maturity, with a 45-foot spread. Mature leaves are 4 to 7 inches (10 to 18 cm.) The brilliant fall colors and large, spreading size make sweet gum a sought-after species of shade tree for landscaping. The gumballs cling to the tree throughout the winter and drop to the ground in the spring. Sweet Gum trees have a star-shaped leaf with five points. Their fruit is effective against rheumatic pain. In comparison the mildly bitter Sweet Gum is definitely sweeter. You will also find a lot of wonderful information on gum trees, including information about the gum tree species, planting information, and much more. A sweet gum is a deciduous tree in the witch hazel family that ranges in height from 60 to 100 feet and has a narrow oval canopy. It is used for its lumber, and is one of the most common sources of hardwood and plywood, but also produces spectacular colors as it drops its leaves in the fall. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! The only edible part of the tree is the dried sap which makes a fragrant, bitter chewing gum. Sweet gum seed pods, sometimes called gumballs, are spiny orbs produced from the clusters of small flowers that appear in spring. Avoid planting this tree too deeply; the root flare - the point where the roots end and the trunk begins - should be slightly higher than soil level to prevent root rot. Sweetgum Tree, Facts on Sweetgum Trees Here is some detailed information on the sweetgum tree. Sweet gum wood is the second most utilized commercial wood in the United States, after oak. It can be found in the eastern parts of North America and tropical parts of Mexico and Central America. The Sweetgum tree is native to the southeastern United States and a member of a genus made up of only six species. 2. Sweet gum leaves are glossy and dark green in the summer. Maple Tree Identification - … The timber of the sweet gum is valued for its close grain and red tinge, and is used for veneer and furniture. The leaves are star-shaped, with five or seven pointed lobes and finely serrated edges. Look at the general shape of the tree. The sweetgum is a fast-growing tree that develops a significant taproot that tolerate high moisture levels in soil. The American Sweetgum (or "Sweet Gum") tree is popular all over the world as a shade tree, but this variegated version doubles as a dazzling ornamental tree, too. The distinctive sticky ball seedpods start off green, turning hard and brown before dropping off the tree through fall and winter. With a broader focus on organic gardening, health, rural lifestyle, home and family articles, she specializes in topics involving antique and modern quilting, sewing and needlework techniques. Beautiful! The trunk of a mature gum tree may be five feet in diameter. Its glossy, dark green, star shaped leaves take on an unpredictable array of colors in the fall, ranging from clear yellow to orange, red or burgundy. Native Americans and pioneers also used the sap for a number of medicinal purposes. Fact Sheet ST-358 November 1993 Liquidambar styraciflua Figure 1. The American sweetgum is a bottomland species commonly growing 75 feet in height with a more or less pyramidal form. The tree often self-seeds once mature. It can be an excellent shade tree in the right location, away from foot traffic where the spiky "gumball" fruits will not be an annoyance. Black Tupelo or Nyssa sylvatica is the most common true gum in North America and grows from Canada to Texas. American sweet gum is also known as redgum, gumtree, star-leaved gum and alligator wood. Situate where a sweet gum's mature height cannot interfere with overhead wires or other obstructions and at least 8 to 10 feet away from sidewalks and curbs, as the sweet gum tree root structure is an aggressive one that can cause pavement to heave. The American sweet gum tree, Liquidambar styraciflua, grows in eastern woodlands from southern Connecticut to northern Illinois to Texas to central Florida. Some great uses for Sweetgum Balls, those little spiky miracles we find on the ground. Sweet Gum. So, if you are wondering if you have a Sweet Gum tree in front of you, read on…. The resin the tree produces has been used in folk medicine as well as in chewing gum. Gum Tree Images. Sweet gum trees may reach heights from 80 to 150 feet, and they may spread to 45 feet wide. American sweetgum can reach 80 feet in height at maturity, with a spread of about 60 feet. If the name isn't enough to intrigue you, the sweet gum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua) is an interesting tree with beautiful leaves. Liquidambar, commonly called sweetgum (star gum in the UK), gum, redgum, satin-walnut, or American storax, is the only genus in the flowering plant family Altingiaceae and has 15 species. The fruit and leaves of sweetgum look nothing like these true gums. Examine the leaf. Sweetgum is one of the … The leaves flutter easily in the slightest of breezes and form a rounded canopy. The American sweet gum tree, Liquidambar styraciflua, grows in eastern woodlands from southern Connecticut to northern Illinois to Texas to central Florida. The others are found only in Asia. American sweetgum Facts American sweetgum is deciduous tree that belongs to the witch hazel family. There are some sweet gum tree problems to be aware of, which you can avoid. The fine hardwood is used to make flooring, furniture and veneers, cabinetry and paneling. It can also be propagated by stem cuttings or grafting. But, there's a lot more to the sweetgum tree than meets the eye! This is valuable and useful information that can help you to learn more about the gum tree. Variegated Sweetgum's deep green leaves are so spattered and streaked with creamy yellow pigment, you might think it got too close to a banana smoothie when the lid flew off the blender! Along the rivers of the south-eastern United States, Sweet gums exceed 125 ft. in height and 4 ft. in diameter. The leaves, which are five-lobed and shaped like stars, provide excellent fall foliage color. Dr. Francois Couplan in his book The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America states on page 60 the gum it has antiseptic qualities. Sterile - pod-free - cultivars are "Rotundiloba" and "Happydaze." Living Off the Land ~~ Black Gum Tree - Duration: 12:32. They were formerly often treated in Hamamelidaceae.They are decorative deciduous trees that are used in the wood industry and for ornamental purposes. It is an easy tree to identify, as it has a leaf that is shaped like the palm of your hand, with 5 lobes for "fingers." 1. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. The foliage is palmate, like a maple leaf, but more deeply lobed and star shaped. It is glossy green in the spring and summer, turning to vivid red, yellow and even purple in the fall. The sweet gum tree attracts wildlife including blue jays, cardinals, mourning doves, squirrels, chipmunks and luna moths. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Michigan State University, is an avid gardener and volunteers at her local botanical garden. It is a large deciduous hardwood tree, which can grow to over 100 feet in height and 3 to 5 feet in diameter, with a symmetrical, cone-shaped crown. The distinctive seed pods are one way to easily identify a sweet gum tree. On some trees, the branches are \"winged,\" as on winged euonymus (burning bush), displaying corky flanges. Sweet gum trees are native to the eastern U.S., but grow well throughout U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 9 in full sun. Despite its name the gum is not sweet. If an appropriate space is available, check out the cold-hardy cultivar, 'Moraine', which is recommended for northern Illinois. wide. Interpreting Wetland Status. Gum trees can grow in moderately moist soil conditions, but they prefer wet bottomland areas along creeks and river banks. Sweet gum leaves are glossy and dark green in the summer. All Rights Reserved. Liquidambar styraciflua, commonly called the American sweetgum, sweet-gum, alligator-wood, American-storax, bilsted, red-gum, satin-walnut, or star-leaved gum, is a deciduous tree native to warm temperate areas of eastern North America. The bark is furrowed, rough and scaly, hence the nickname alligator wood. Sweet gum tree leaves have five to seven pointed lobes, and their shape will remind you of a star. Liquidambar styraciflua, commonly called sweet gum, is a low-maintenance deciduous shade tree that is native from Connecticut to Florida and Missouri further south to Texas, Mexico and Central America. The sweet gum grows in a long list of states, thinning to a more patchy distribution as it spreads southward into Mexico and Central America. Sweet gum, a tree of the Witch hazel family (Hamamelidaceae), native of the eastern United States, also Mexico and Central America. Gum Tree Facts. The Liquidambar styraciflua growth rate is moderate to rapid, putting on height at a rate of 1 to 4 feet a year for the first five to 10 years and 12 to 15 inches per year thereafter. Other cultivars have features such as variegated leaves -- "Silver King," "Golden Treasure" and "Variegata" -- or colorful regular season or fall foliage - "Burgundy," "Festival" and "Moraine" - while others have alternative profiles, like the more compact "Emerald Sentinel" or the narrow "Slender Silhouette.". It is also used for paper and pulp products. Its called Sweet Gum to separate it from a different species altogether, the Black Gum, Nyssa sylvatica, which is extremely sour and bitter. It grows in an oval, somewhat pyramidal shape. Next, water the sweet gum tree every day to every three days depending on climate and precipitation in the tree's first season; afterwards water needs are moderate. If you walk by a sweetgum tree, now you know they can be useful The bark on the trunk is deeply furrowed. If you're thinking of growing trees in your yard, or you're simply interested about what makes certain trees unique, then consider the sweet gum tree. The fruits are spiny dark brown balls known as an aggregate of capsules. Sweet gum trees have various medicinal uses. Sweet-gum is known for its unique star-shaped leaves with outstanding yellow, red, and purple fall color. Sweet gum trees may reach heights from 80 to 150 feet, and they may spread to 45 feet wide. Because a sweet gum tree may grow 80 feet tall and hose-end sprayers typically have a maximum good-pressure range of up to 30 feet, spraying a mature sweet gum adequately is difficult for a homeowner. Milling a HUGE Sweet Gum log! Gum is used for basketry, barrels and items such as wooden bowls and boxes. The deeply cut grey or … Their fall color lasts much longer than most other trees. In spring - March to May depending on location - the sweet gum produces small, pale green flowers that develop into spherical, spiky seed pods that can create a problem if you like to enjoy your yard in bare feet in the summer. The leaf will have a saw-tooth or serrated edge. The sweetgum is spectacular in autumn, with leaves turning orange and flame-red before falling. The leaves are deciduous (they fall off the tree in autumn) and turn bright yellow before falling. A resin called storax is extracted from the trunk of the sweet gum and is used in incense and perfume. American sweetgums (Liquidambar styraciflua) are part of the Witch Hazel family. The sweet gum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua) is one of the most common trees found in the forests of Hilton Head Island. The American sweet gum tree was so named because of the amber-colored, resinous sweet sap that was scraped from the inside of the bark to produce a chewing gum-like substance. Slender Sil… ► In scientific nomenclature, the sweet gum tree is called Liquidambar styraciflua. Leaves commonly measure 7 inches across. Sweet gum seed pods, sometimes called gumballs, are spiny orbs produced from the clusters of small flowers that appear in spring. Liquidambar styracifluaL., sweetgum, is native to southeastern, east-central, and south-central United States, southern Mexico, and central America. In Missouri, it typically occurs in moist low woods and along streams only in the far southeastern corner of the state (Steyermark). Sweet gum trees are available in numerous cultivars, including varieties that never develop the prickly "gumballs" that can be a negative for some homeowners. Sweet gums are large trees that bear alternate, sharply (three- to seven-lobed) palmate leaves. The downside to growing a sweetgum tree is the seed pods. The tree prefers moist, slightly acidic soil, but is adaptable to many soil types, including clay soil, dry or wet soil and soil that is neutral to somewhat alkaline. Before deciding to plant a sweet gum tree in your yard, remember that many people consider the multitude of gumballs to be a nuisance to keep cleaned up. Little pruning or fertilization is required. 12:32. This name was derived from the tree’s innate property of secreting a resin-like substance. Best offers for your garden - http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/1Wy5buU ----- Sweet Gum Tree Facts. In some cases, at the peak of the fall foliage season, certain leaves may be red, others purple, others yellow, and still others orange (all on the same plant). Sweetgum (Liquidambar) is a genus of four species of flowering plants in the family Altingiaceae, though formerly often treated in the Hamamelidaceae. Patricia Hamilton Reed has written professionally since 1987. The leaves of the black gum tree are an elongated oval shape that offer a brilliant fall show. Can a Jacaranda Tree Withstand a Lot of Heat? Black gum or sour gum tree facts can be rather fascinating for arborists who study this hardy, towering native species. Most of the small, black seeds contained within the gumballs do not germinate, but are eaten by squirrels and birds. The foliage ranges from yellow, golden, deep orange, fiery red to deep purple; sweet gum is one of the last species to drop its leaves in the fall. Plant sweet gums in the spring rather than the fall for the best chance of survival. Wetland Status. Sweet Gum Tree Names. Young Sweetgum. Another common tree that is called a "gum" is sweetgum and is actually an entirely different tree species classification called Liquidambar. Special Concern. sweet gum. Reed was editor of the "Grand Ledge Independent" weekly newspaper and a Capitol Hill reporter for the national newsletter "Corporate & Foundation Grants Alert." Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. The resin that the tree produces is actually not sweet, but it is used in chewing gum. Seed pods mildly bitter sweet gum is valued for its close grain and red tinge, and may. Illinois to Texas is native to southeastern, east-central, and they may spread to 45 feet wide seven-lobed palmate... 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