The local garden centre that I visit says that American sweet gum should be grown in full sunlight and in average to moist conditions. 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. How I wish I have this tree at my house :) The fact that the tree has a beneficial effect from the gum, it can be useful. It is also used for paper and pulp products. The leaves contain natural antibiotics and were used to pack wounds. More research is need to confirm the possibly beneficial effects of the gum. It takes the sweet gum tree 20 to 30 years to mature enough to produce its fruit. If I had a lot of land that my dogs could explore, I would plant a tree in one section and protect them from any gum balls that were produced. The lifespan estimates that I've read say that the tree can live from eighty to a hundred and fifty years. I always enjoy examining sweet gum trees during my walks. I must admit that I'm surprised by the placement of two sweet gum trees in my neighbourhood. The gum balls are sometimes so numerous that if they fall on a sidewalk they may be risky to walk on and cause problems such as sprained ankles. It's reportedly resistant to deer and rabbits. Beautiful! Amazon Books and Gear: Six Steps to Become a Forager, Identification and Treatment of Poison Ivy, Annotated Trees, Shrubs, and Vines of Texas Hill Country, Making Sauerkraut and Other Fermented Foods, What to Serve After the Apocalypse - The Cook's Cook Magazine, A Forager on the Road - The Cook's Cook Magazine, Booze in the Backwoods - Coast Monthly Magazine, Dallas Observer - Chefs Turn to Nature 4/25/2017, Texas Lifestyle Magazine Interview 4/6/2015 p. 27, Edible Houston - Fall is for Foraging 9/29/2016, Lucky Peach Magazine Article "Foraging with Dummies", Appleseed Radio Audio Podcast (starts at 23 minutes in). I always appreciate your visits.and comments. Though many of the mature gum balls fall to the ground after releasing their seeds, some stay on the trees during the winter. Since the details of how the gum affects the body are unknown, pregnant and nursing women should avoid using it.
There are several fossil species of Liquidambar, showing its relict status today. It was also very informative as I mistakenly thought the liquidambar was native to Australia. The bark is furrowed, rough and scaly, hence the nickname alligator wood. It's grown as an ornamental tree in southwestern British Columbia, where I live.
The sweet gum tree was to pioneer youth the rustic equivalent of a gum-ball machine.
Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. The American sweet gum, or bilsted (Liquidambar styraciflua), which sometimes reaches 45 metres (150 feet) in moist lowlands but is usually half that height at maturity, is grown for its handsome foliage, shade, and scarlet autumnal colour.It is … Always something new to learn about! The heartwood once was used in furniture, sometimes as imitation mahogany or Circassian walnut. FlourishAnyway from USA on October 18, 2019: Oh, yes, I am familiar with this tree.
Thank you for taking a stroll and posting pictures you have personally made of the tree. The distinctive seed pods are one way to easily identify a sweet gum tree. *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Thanks for sharing the detailed information about this wonderful tree. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. One of our letter carriers in the Post Office turned his ankle on a sweet gum ball. Although a temperate species, at least one living Liquidambar tree survives in a hot and humid tropical city: Bangkok, Thailand. Can i ask that is this tree can be grow up in Pakistan if someone try??
The hardened sap, or gum resin, excreted from the wounds of the sweetgum, for example, the American sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), can be chewed on like chewing gum and has been long used for this purpose in the Southern United States. John Hansen from Queensland Australia on October 20, 2019: A wonderful article, Linda. Native Americans and pioneers also used the sap for a number of medicinal purposes. She is the author of, Hens Rule The Roost At Courtney’s Chicken Charms, Recipe: Pickle & Can Those Late Season, Green Tomatoes, Rotating Chickens Gets Them On Pasture Without Hassle, Musical Coops: Moving Poultry For The Winter Season, Keep The Garden Growing This Winter With A Cold Frame. The tree can cause problems, but it's beautiful as well. I haven't read reports about serious problems caused by the gum balls where I live.
Strange thing, seeing that Bonsai, at the U.S Arboretum. The word "sweet" in the tree's name refers to the scent of the gum, not the taste. Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on November 23, 2019: I'm looking forward to seeing your ornaments and reading your article. However, without seeing your tree, he would have to make an educated guess and say that any type of "sap" that falls onto a car would actually be the result of an insect problem. Denise McGill from Fresno CA on October 23, 2019: The tree is lovely and not that annoying. Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. Hi, Liz.
They really are sharp! Trees are the backbone of any good landscape plan. Hi, Heidi. It’s too late in the season to harvest sweet gum for its flu fighting abilities, but look for the immature pods next year.
Perhaps one day they will be, but additional investigations and discoveries are needed in order to prove that the claimed health benefits of the plant are real. Thanks, Bill. Bob Hargrave, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0 license. Yes, the decision about where to place the plant is an important one. Thanks for the comment. The gum is said to taste slightly bitter. It should be planted away from obstructions or objects that it might damage. Linda Crampton is a writer and teacher with an honors degree in biology. Thank you. I have raked up the leaves and balls before it wasn't that hard. The potential height and spread of the tree should be kept in mind. We need help to fight certain infections at the moment due to the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on November 02, 2019: Thank you very much, Chitrangada.
The Nature has abundance of beauty. The structures that bear the flowers are shown in the photo below. I think maples and sweet gums are attractive trees. I did not know its name then until I read your hub.
Southern nicknames for sweetgum include red gum and alligator wood. Sweet gum bonsai at the United States National Arboretum, Ragesoss, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 license. It is not, however, sweet. I've found more sweet gum trees in my area since I wrote the article.
Another potential problem that may develop near a sidewalk is that the tree's roots may damage the pavement. Please try again. It is a gorgeous tree. Thanks for the information, which I can always count on you to deliver. It does well in southwestern BC. I love the colours of the leaves. In cultivation they can be seen in warm temperate and subtropical climates around the world. In Chinese herbal medicine, lu lu tong, or "all roads open," is the hard, spiky fruit of native sweetgum species. Facts on the Sweet Gum Tree. manatita44 from london on October 29, 2019: Nice autumnal rose-pinky colour and good info too. The American sweet gum tree is an attractive plant that produces beautiful leaf colours in the fall. The flowers are pollinated by wind that carries pollen from a different sweet gum tree.
While I sympathize with the desire to reduce carbon by planting trees, not a lot of thought was put into either the selection of trees or their placement. Copyright © 2020 EG Media Investments LLC. Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 23, 2019: A beautiful tree i had no idea of this information. Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on October 19, 2019: Thank you very much for the comment, Lora. Sweet gum wood is the second most utilized commercial wood in the United States, after oak.
That would be an interesting plant to have in a home. Love your pictures. The female structure becomes a green and spiky ball as it matures. Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on November 02, 2019: The American Sweet Gum tree looks so beautiful. The gum appears to be safe to chew in small amounts. The city has placed them right by a sidewalk, too. Sweet gum wood is the second most utilized commercial wood in the United States, after oak. Please help, I want to know for sure. Species within this genus are widespread in China, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Laos, Vietnam, Turkey, Rhodes, North America and Mexico (down to Honduras).
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