Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua)
- Sweetgum grows in a narrow pyramid to a height of 75 feet and may spread to 50 feet. The beautifully glossy, star-shaped leaves turn bright red, purple, yellow or orange in early winter. On some young trees, branches are covered with characteristic corky projections (similar to the Winged Elm).
- Sweetgum makes a nice residential shade tree for large properties, developing a more oval or rounded canopy as it grows older. But be careful when locating Sweetgum, since aggressive roots may lift driveways and sidewalks. (Plant trees 8 to 10 feet or more away.)
- The fruit are round and spikey, and may be a litter nuisance to some in the fall. The seeds provide food for wildlife, but the cultivar `Rotundiloba' is fruitless.
- Sweetgum grows well in full sun to partial shade, is rarely attacked by pests, and tolerates wet soils, but yellowing is often seen in alkaline (high pH) soils.
Information Source: Liquidambar styraciflua: Sweetgum