The barbs are carried to new locations when they latch onto animals' fur. Clip off all the stems. In a year when an aggressive strain of influenza has gripped the nation, the sweet gum holds out its fruit-laden limbs with its own humble contribution to humanity. Harvest the green, immature seed pods of sweet gum. Make sure to work outside with a face mask on while painting. I have four stunted (on purpose) sweetgum trees on my farm, I harvest the green stickerballs and chop them in halves. The vicious seed pods have impaled many a forager and has done much to ruin the Sweet Gums reputation. Commonly planted as street trees, the primary drawback is the seed balls … To use it, I take 1 teaspoon every 3-4 hours when I know I have a virus. The Sweetgum Ball’s wood is second only to the Oak. All rights reserved. Let this sit in a cool, dark place for about 6 weeks. Get yourself a Bag-A-Nut Sweetgum Ball machine to get those pesky gum balls off your lawn. Older gum trees are not uncommon in the thick, rich-soiled woodlands of several parks in New York City. See more ideas about sweet gum, sweet gum tree crafts, crafts. Another of the very best bonsai trees for beginners, the Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) is a member of the family Altingiaceae. The trees’ spike ball fruit is almost as telltale for identification as the star-shaped leaves. You painfully find them with your feet. The infertile seeds found in each of the sweet gum’s compound seed capsules have been found to be a good alternate source of shikimic acid, one of the main ingredients in Tamiflu. While you wait, the tree has much to offer. Any fabric will work, but I liked the flannel like feel of this fabric and I had plenty of scrap pieces on-hand. Lay the balls out on sheets of newspaper and spray paint them red, gold or silver. Some years, fall foliage in Mississippi can be somewhat lackluster, but there is one tree, the Sweet Gum, that never fails to sport vibrant, autumnal color. CARBONDALE - Sweet gum trees often make a pleasing addition to a yard, but anyone who has such a tree knows its beauty comes with a price. Bark is gray and deeply furrowed, developing about 10 years […] Sweet gum balls can become ornaments on your Christmas tree. Is there a way to keep these balls from forming? The Sweet Gum tree is the sand spur of the forest. If you’re up for some experimenting, Sweet Gum Balls can … In optimum conditions Sweet Gum trees will grow up to 2′ per year, making them a potentially fast growing shade tree. Bake the gum balls in the oven at 200 degrees for about 10 minutes. The boys and I filled an old grocery bag. Come to find out, the seeds inside that sweetgum balls contain shikimic acid, which is what is needed to make the flu-fighting drug Tamiflu®. It takes the sweet gum tree 20 to 30 years to mature enough to produce its fruit. The sweet gum resembles a maple tree, and in the summer, the star-shaped leaves and sturdy trunk are impressive, if easily overlooked. Turns out the Wiccans have some opinions/ideas on the gum balls from the sweet gum tree. These seeds are often called porcupine balls because they are covered in small barbs. They get all over the ground, your pets can damage their paws by walking on them, you can’t walk barefoot in your plush green grass – they are just a nuisance! I combine it with elderberry syrup sometimes. They get all over the ground, your pets can damage their paws by walking on them, you can’t walk barefoot in your plush green grass – they are just a nuisance! For instance, yesterday I finally looked up ‘tree with spiky balls.’ At this time of year, sweet gums stand out. The tree is beautiful and offers lots of shade so I wouldn’t mind keeping it, but we absolutely detest the spiny little balls that are covering our back yard. The internet is full of homegrown techniques to extract this valuable chemical from the tree’s seeds. This is to make sure there isn’t anything living in the holes. We all know that sweet gum balls are a pesky part of the sweetgum ball tree (also know as Liquidambar). The tree’s dark grayish brown twigs bear unusual, corky ridges that lend the tree a peculiar angularity. Click HERE,,,, Well…..there are some benefits to those pesky gumball The forsythia was the big story this week — such an extrovert that forsythia! How to Get a Sweetgum Tree to Stop Producing Balls. Most people want to know how to get rid of the tree, keep it from fruiting, or if you can compost sweetgum balls. Shikimic acid was discovered to be in pine needles and infertile Sweet Gum seed. During the holidays, have your kids paint and decorate dried sweet gum balls while wearing protective gloves. It is only in winter, after the tree’s greenery has been shed, that the sweet gum’s finer points can truly be appreciated. Just watch where you walk. Sweet gum trees are beautiful, with spiky star-shaped … Harvest the seed capsules at the end of October or November, dry in a warm place and extract the seed by shaking the capsule. It seems to take longer for sweet gum to give up its properties than other plants. Now, knowing all this please consider keeping that beautiful tree. Sweet gum fruits are spiky green balls that turn brown through winter and fall to the ground November through May. Sow it as early in the year as possible. This resin is still in use today, occasionally flavoring tobacco, but it is also used as a mild antiseptic and as a treatment for sores. — but looking down I spotted these Sweet Gum Balls, which I’d walked past a million times during my 30 years in town, always meaning to take some home and coat them in paint. To make the treatment you need to harvest the green "monkey balls" from the tree and open them up exposing the seeds. 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. But maybe this year will be different. Sweet Gum trees will grow large and can make excellent shade trees for a home. I make sweetgum tincture with the unripe fruits like my ancestors did. Additionally, the sweet gum’s spiky “gum balls” hang conspicuously from the tree’s smaller branches, sometimes all winter. The spiky gum balls of the sweet gum tree are annoying to anyone who steps on them. Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Sweet Gum Balls; Glue Gun; Wire to make a hanger; Steps to Make a Sweet Gum Wreath Cover Wreath Form with Fabric. You can even get creative and use them to make holiday trinkets or decorative balls for bowls. Leaves are 3-6” in length and width on a petiole roughly the same length, and star-shaped. After 6 weeks you can strain it and put it in dark amber bottles. Ensure they are wearing long pants, protective shoes and gloves. But the other day, spring was just too compelling, and we went to the old hood for a walk. I sat down in front of the TV and watched Live With Kelly when Josh Groban was the co-host, and I was in clipping heaven. Find out about composting gumballs here. But in New York City, the sweet gum is a fairly common sight, growing best where there is rich, loamy soil with good moisture. It's pretty simple, just gather up some Sweet Gum balls which are pretty readily available in the South. For a New World tree, it is interesting to note its Old World connections. The infertile seeds found in each of the sweet gum’s compound seed capsules are a naturally occurring source of shikimic acid, one of the main ingredients in the manufacture of Tamiflu. Well…..there are some benefits to those pesky gumballs. To tincture sweet gum, simply gather green (unripe) sweet gum balls, cut them up (with a skill saw… I’m just kidding, but DAMN) and place them in a quart jar. ... Tamiflu, the drug of choice for Influenza, is made from the Star Anise plant and contains the chemical Shikimik acid. Everything from a ¼â€ in diameter, all the way up to the diameter of a tennis ball won’t stand a chance. Getting back to Ashley’s question, using injections on your sweetgum tree is tricky because the timing has to be just right. But they hate the seeds or sweet gum balls with their spiny projections that form on the tree every year. The first Westerners to describe the plant were Spanish conquistadors who recorded its uses by Montezuma and the formidable Aztec empire in the 16th century. Fill to the top with alcohol and let it steep for 6 weeks. It will keep forever. The sweet gum got its name for the resinous sap that results when you score its bark. Author Topic: Sweet Gum Balls ~ an antiviral (Read 11642 times) hi_itsgwen. Once the Sweet Gum Balls are off your property the possibilities are endless. This past Election Day, my sister and I decided to take advantage of our kids having the day off. Sweetgum balls are anything but sweet but the prickly fruit of sweetgum trees. Sweet Gum Healing. Cut them in half and pack them densely into a mason jar. But did you know there may be a natural remedy in your backyard? This comes in handy when you hang out with kids. It is theoretically possible to eliminate the balls each year but it … Stored seed requires 1 - 3 months stratification and sometimes takes 2 years to germinate. A: The spiky seed pods of the sweetgum tree are a nuisance to many gardeners. Start by covering the straw wreath form with strips of curtain interlining. Don’t cut it down! Q: I have a huge 100-year-old sweet gum tree in my side yard and it endows us with sweet gum balls all year. Receive product updates, specials and more. The sweetgum wood has many uses, particularly veneer, furniture, flooring, interior trim, woodenware, paper pulp and to make baskets. Bag-A-Nut, LLC. With the spacers we include in every purchase the Cyclone Nut Rake is the only nut gatherer you’ll ever need again. They can often be found in great numbers at the bases of the trees’ trunks, as well as along walking paths where they amuse or annoy dogs and their walkers, runners, picnickers and bike riders alike. We all know that sweet gum balls are a pesky part of the sweetgum ball tree (also know as Liquidambar). Humans have transplanted this species extensively, so it can now be found growing as a street tree or even in any number of botanic gardens well outside its original range. The tree itself is also an important lumber crop in the American South, but because its wood is not strong, it is generally used in combination with other woods as a veneer or in the making of plywood. I called our local agricultural extension but they've never gotten back to me on their answer. Gather up a lot of gum balls. As Tamiflu® became more and more popular, the main source of shikimic acid, the star anise tree (a native of China) became scarcer and the search was on for other sources. These pods are all over the woods and we're always looking for more sweet gum ball crafts to make! The infertile seeds of the sweet gum ball contain shikimic acid, which is also contained in the same tree used to make Tamiflu. ... (Tamiflu) for fighting bird flu and H1N1 flu. Quite a few people have posted different methods to use/extract this acid for taking advantage of the shikimic acid. These compound seed capsules are often confused with the seed heads of the American sycamore, or its London plane-tree hybrid, but the two are only superficially similar. This same acid is also found in Sweetgum tree seeds and explains why Sweetgum has always worked so well as an anti-viral. Make a game of picking up sweet gum balls with your children by having a contest to see who can gather the most. Sweet gum balls are the seeds that fall from sweet gum trees. Generally considered a southern tree, the sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) reaches the northernmost limits of its natural range along the coast not far north of New York City. Cover them with vodka (or Pure Grain Alcohol), seal the jar, and allow them to sit in a dark area for a while. Among these, Wolfe’s Pond and Blue Heron parks on Staten Island are among the best. Stick toothpicks with glue into the little holes, and let dry. There are affiliate links are in this post. This is the same active ingredient that's in our most powerful flu treatments known as Tamiflu. The seed heads of the sycamore disintegrate as their seeds are dispersed; the sweet gum seed capsule, on the other hand, has a woody structure, and the gum balls are quite persistent. You know, the super magical thing about the internet is that it can make you the bearer of almost instant knowledge on just about anything. I was told from a friend that there is a way to make this tree sterile and not form these balls. 10601 Theresa Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32246. Chief among them, the sweet gum’s fragrant resin was used to flavor a pipe full of an unfamiliar plant called tobacco. Where conditions suit it, the tree can grow to mighty dimensions: nearly 75 feet tall with a spreading canopy. Not only are the seeds medicinal, but there are also claims that the black sap in the tree, though bitter and sour has antiseptic qualities. The varying hues of Many people think of sweet gum balls as a nuisance, but they can be used to make many types of crafts. © 2020. The ‘aha, I never knew!’ moments are exhilarating. But in flu season, they’re also a source of homemade Tamiflu. Use your Sweetgum balls for some amazing crafts! Our Sweetgum Wreath is a fun kids craft for Valentine's Day. May 10, 2017 - Explore Linda Durtschi's board "Sweet Gum tree ball crafts" on Pinterest. You might notice the solution turning red or burgundy. Next, tie a piece of ribbon, thread or colored string around to the stem to hang the colored balls on your tree branches. Then, spray paint and while the paint is still wet sprinkle glitter on top to make them sparkle… Rhonda Stark Stuff I want to make It’s a primary tree, growing to heights of 60-100’. Best offers for your Garden - ----- How to Clean Up Sweet Gum Balls. Perhaps it is time for some rehabilitation.