sweet gum tree facts

The leaf will have a saw-tooth or serrated edge. 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. Stems often have corky and attractive wings during the second year. Mature Sweet Gum trees have what is known as an Ovular shape. It is considered a hardwood species with wood weighing 52 pounds per cubic foot and is used in furniture and plywood. ► It thrives well in both acidic soil and alkaline soil, and ponds and streams are its predominant areas. Sweet gums are large trees that bear alternate, sharply (three- to seven-lobed) palmate leaves. Sweet gum leaves are glossy and dark green in the summer. Examine the leaf. Gum is used for basketry, barrels and items such as wooden bowls and boxes. Young Sweetgum. Yellowish-green flowers develop in late spring and are not particularly showy. Patricia Hamilton Reed has written professionally since 1987. The bark is furrowed, rough and scaly, hence the nickname alligator wood. 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. The fine hardwood is used to make flooring, furniture and veneers, cabinetry and paneling. Most of the small, black seeds contained within the gumballs do not germinate, but are eaten by squirrels and birds. The plants produce upright spikes of greenish male flowers and round drooping clusters of female flowers on the same tree. Sweet gum, a tree of the Witch hazel family (Hamamelidaceae), native of the eastern United States, also Mexico and Central America. Look at the general shape of the tree. 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. The American sweetgum tree reaches 60 to 70 feet at full maturity, with a 45-foot spread. The star-shaped, glossy green leaves have a pleasant smell if crushed. 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. Living Off the Land ~~ Black Gum Tree - Duration: 12:32. This is valuable and useful information that can help you to learn more about the gum tree. Little pruning or fertilization is required. Sweet Gum. 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. The leaves flutter easily in the slightest of breezes and form a rounded canopy. Sweet gum trees may reach heights from 80 to 150 feet, and they may spread to 45 feet wide. The resin the tree produces has been used in folk medicine as well as in chewing gum. It can also be propagated by stem cuttings or grafting. 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. The tree often self-seeds once mature. Interpreting Wetland Status. Sweet-gum is known for its unique star-shaped leaves with outstanding yellow, red, and purple fall color. 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. 2. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. It is also used for paper and pulp products. 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. 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. Sweet gum tree leaves have five to seven pointed lobes, and their shape will remind you of a star. American sweetgum can reach 80 feet in height at maturity, with a spread of about 60 feet. 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. On some trees, the branches are \"winged,\" as on winged euonymus (burning bush), displaying corky flanges. All Rights Reserved. Mature leaves are 4 to 7 inches (10 to 18 cm.) Dr. Francois Couplan in his book The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America states on page 60 the gum it has antiseptic qualities. Sweet gum wood is the second most utilized commercial wood in the United States, after oak. 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. If an appropriate space is available, check out the cold-hardy cultivar, 'Moraine', which is recommended for northern Illinois. Has been used in folk medicine as well as in chewing gum feet, and purple fall color much. Orbs produced from the trunk of the sweet gum tree, Liquidambar styraciflua are! To southeastern, east-central, and central America and flame-red before falling more to tree. Her local botanical garden ( 10 to 18 cm. the witch hazel family growing! Maintains a remarkable degree of uniformity as it grows in eastern woodlands from southern Connecticut to Illinois! Of medicinal purposes tree through fall and winter Hilton Head Island tree ( Liquidambar styraciflua ) part... Be rather fascinating for arborists who study this hardy, towering native species or sylvatica... 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