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American Sweetgum

Liquidambar styraciflua

GIS Coordinate:
N40 21.189 W94 52.881

Trail Number:
T27

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Description

Family:
Hamamelidaceae

Foliage:
Leaves are simple, alternate, star shaped, and 4 to 7 inches wide

Native Locale:
Connecticut, south to New York to Florida, southern Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri to Texas and Mexico

Mature Height:
60 to 75 feet

Mature Width:
40 to 50 feet

Hardiness Zones:
Zone 5 to 9

Soil Preference:
Prefers deep, moist, slightly acid soil

Growth Habit:
Decidedly pyramidal when young; of very neat outline; often with an oblong to rounded crown at maturity

Rate of Growth:
Medium to Fast, 2 to 3' per year in moist soil; 1 to 2' per year in dry soil

Disease and Insect:
Bleeding necrosis, leaf spots, sweetgum webworm, caterpillars, cottony- cushion scale, sweetgum scale, walnut scale; iron chlorosis can be a problem in high pH soils

Landscape Value:
n/a

Additional Votes:

  • Fruit: The prickly dried fruit capsules can be messy
  • Twigs have corky wings.
  • The genus name meaning liquid and amber refers to the aromatic fluid secreted from the wood and leaves. This oil is used as a fixative in perfumes. Pioneers scraped gum from the inner bark to chew.

Photos

Bark - American SweetgumLeaf - American SweetgumSummer - American SweetgumSummer '08 - American SweetgumSummer '08 Fruit - American Sweetgum