Sweet Gum

Liquidambar styraciflua

American Red Gum, American Sweet Gum, Bilsted, Copalm Balsam, Red Gum, Satin Walnut, American-Storax, Alligator-Wood, Red-Gum, Sweet-Gum

profile iconSweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) in Mellon Park, Pittsburgh 01
by Cbaile19 (CC0)
1 of 6
Sweet gum tree leaves in autumn
profile iconSweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) in Mellon Park, Pittsburgh 01
by Cbaile19 (CC0)
1 of 6
A popular deciduous tree grown for their maple-like leaves with a serrated-margin, brilliant and long-lasting autumn colour. Their flowers and fruits are inconspicuous. It is often planted as an attractive border or hedge or to form beautiful avenues. It is a feature plant during autumn in any large garden providing shade in warm summers and allowing sun through bare branches in winter. After an injury to the stem, a red gum-like fluid appears that lead to the common name liquid amber.
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Planning

Difficulty

Moderate

Flowering time

Summer

Fruiting time

Autumn

Harvesting

Harvest fruit in Autumn for seeds.

Propagation

Seed

Small 2 seeds within each capsule, from a spiked ball. Harvest the fruit in Autumn after they turned from green to dark brown. Allow fruit to dry (5 - 7 days) before planting.

Cuttings

Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings. Keep moist while rooting.

Special features

Autumn colour

Orange, red or purple leaves cover the tree before it drops.

Hedge plant

Planted in rows acting as a wind breaker.

Attracts birds

Attractive leaves

Maple-like palmate leaves.

Special features

Origin

Eastern United States

Natural climate

Temperate

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Acid, Neutral

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Personality

Family

Altingiaceae

Flower colour

Green

Scent

Mild

Problems

Problem free
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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