Liquidambar styraciflua

Common name: Sweet Gum

Native plant

Known to many as the "gumball tree" in affectual reminiscence or revisited annoyance.  The truth is, the tree is a beauty! The slightly corky bark and upswept branching habit make this tree ideal as a shade tree, for yard and parkway plantings. The fall color is a mix of fireworks in red, yellow and orange lasting until a very hard frost.  In nature, you will find this tree towering over moist areas and flood-plain woods in the southern third of the state, but we have found it to do well in our area in urban soils.  It may not get to the very large sizes found further south, but it can get to 50 feet here and look good doing it.

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Plant Details

Plant type

Tree

Soil type

Mesic (Not too Wet Not too Dry), Moist Mesic

Light exposure

Full Sun, Partial Sun / Part Shade

Bloom period

Spring

Urban environment

Uncompacted Urban Soils

Habitat

Prairie Grasslands

Growth form

Single trunk

Growth rate

Fast

Flower color

Orange Yellow

Fall color

Red Orange Yellow

Size

Mature height
60 Feet
Mature width
40 Feet
Max height
80 Feet
Max width
60 Feet

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