Penland Tree Farm

Sweet Gum

Sweet Gum Tree 01


Sweet Gum Tree 02The Sweetgum tree, Liquidambar styraciflua, is a rapid growing shade tree usually grown for its excellent fall color. It has an upright pyramidal growth habit in its youth and then becomes spreading, irregular and open as it ages. The star shaped lustrous dark green foliage turns a spectacular fall color, often a combination of green, yellow, orange, red and purple foliage, but sometimes solid crimson, burgundy or scarlet.

The Sweetgum tree usually does not flower or fruit for the first 15 to 20 years. It prefers full sun and can grow to 60 feet high and 40 feet wide. The Sweetgum tree has landscape value as a shade, specimen or focal point tree. Sweetgum trees are an excellent lawn, park, or street tree. Birds like the seeds it produces. The bark has a corky appearance. It has spectacular colors, is fast growing, and has great shade.