In the fall these beautiful star shaped leaves turn glorious colors, ranging from bright yellow to purple-red. It is a striking tree in the landscape in the fall. The overall shape of the tree is cone shaped symmetrical reaching heights of 100 feet tall. It grows in full sun to part shade and known as a fast grower. I have lots of little Sweetgum in my woods. We did have some in the garden areas of the yard that were taken out. I will let the trees be in the woods, but I am with the rest of you---keep them out of the gardens. These trees can live 100- 150 years.
The leaves, when crushed are aromatic. In addition to the lumber's commercial uses, the gum (resin) has been used for soaps, in adhesives, and for chewing gum. So, next time you are thinking how much you dislike that Sweetgum, think about all the benefits this tree has to offer.
references-- VTech- good photos with concise information, US Forestry Silvics Manual-- always an excellent source of detailed information, and Duke-- great photos of the flowers- both male and female. Floridata, always another good source.
thanks for visiting this week's edition of Tuesday's Trees, next week's tree- Sycamore.
words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.