- Dazzling yellow-purple-red fall foliage
- Glossy, star-shaped green leaves in spring and summer
- Native to North America
- Fall leaves stay on tree quite late
- Pyramidal shape that becomes more rounded with age
- Grows 60' to 75' tall with a 40' to 50' spread
- Zones 5 to 9
- Can't ship to: AK, AZ, HI
Zones 5 - 9
The American Sweetgum can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map.VIEW MAP
The American Sweetgum falls into the following type(s): Ornamental Trees, Shade Trees
60' - 75' High
The American Sweetgum grows to be 60' - 75' feet in height.
40' - 50' Spread
The American Sweetgum has a spread of about 40' - 50' at full maturity.
Medium to Fast Growth
This tree grows at a medium to fast growth rate. [More about this.]
This sweetgum does well in full sun.
The American Sweetgum grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well drained, wet, wide range, clay soils.
This sweetgum has oval, pyramidal shape.
The Sweetgum tree, with its star-shaped leaves, neatly compact crown, interesting fruit, and twigs with unique corky growths called wings, is an attractive shade tree. It turns brilliant shades of yellow, orange, red and purple in autumn. Its wood is alternatively streaked with reddish-brown and black, making it popular for fine furniture and interior finishing. Sweetgum has become a prized shade tree in parks, campuses and around residences with space for large trees.
American sweetgum seeds are eaten by eastern goldfinches, purple finches, sparrows, mourning doves, northern bobwhites, and wild turkeys. Small mammals such as chipmunks, red squirrels and gray squirrels also enjoy the fruits and seeds.
The Sweetgum tree is native to the southeastern United States and a member of a genus made up of only six species. The others are found only in Asia. The first historical reference to the tree comes from the author and soldier, Don Bernal Diaz del Castillo, who accompanied Cortez in 1519 and was a witness to ceremonies between Cortez and Montezuma, who both partook of a liquid amber extracted from a Sweetgum tree. The tree itself was fist noticed and recorded by the historian Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca in 1542. Once commercially popular for soaps, adhesives and pharmaceuticals, today its wood is valuable for fine furniture and interior finishing.
Requires moist soil conditions, moderate drought tolerance.
The leaves are distinctively star-shaped with five points or lobes, and occasionally seven. They have toothed margins, grow alternately along the twig, and are borne on long petioles. They are medium green in summer and orange, purple, red or yellow in autumn.
Yellow-green in color, not distinctive.
The fruit is long-stemmed, woody and bur-like; approximately 1-1/2 inches in diameter.
Deep, glossy green star-shaped leaves mark the Sweetgum. Leaves turn yellow-purple-red in the fall, and stay on the tree quite late. Its shape is pyramidal, becoming more rounded with age. Avoid polluted sites for best results with this tree. Grows 60'-70', with a 45' spread. (Zones 5-9)
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When you order trees from The Arbor Day Foundation, your order is guaranteed to arrive in a good, healthy condition or we'll replace them at no charge. Your trees will be shipped at a suitable time for planting.
Each tree is guaranteed to grow, or we'll replace it at one half the original price, plus shipping and handling.
The benefits of bare-root trees
Our trees are delivered with natural bare roots which have been dipped in hydrating gel prior to shipment to keep the roots moist and healthy. As their abundant, fibrous roots aren't confined by a container, bare-root trees get off to a more vigorous start compared to containerized roots which typically need more time to adjust to transplanting. Bare-root trees typically surpass the size of larger containerized trees in only a few years.