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Sweet Gum (liquidambar Styraciflua)







Distinguishing characters: The _persistent, spiny_, long-stemmed round

*fruit*; _the corky growths on the_ *twigs*, the characteristic

_star-shaped_ *leaves* (Fig. 76) and the very shiny greenish brown

buds and the perfect symmetry of the tree are the chief characters

by which to identify the species.



Form and size: The sweet gum has a beautiful symmetrical shape, forming

a true monopodium.




ridges along the twig.]



Range: From Connecticut to Florida and west to Missouri.



Soil and location: Grows in any good soil but prefers low wet ground. It

grows rapidly and needs plenty of light.



Enemies: Is very often a favorite of leaf-eating caterpillars.



Value for planting: The tree is sought for the brilliant color of its

foliage in the fall, and is suitable for planting both on the lawn

and street. In growing the tree for ornamental purposes it is

important that it should be frequently transplanted in the nursery

and that it be transported with burlap wrapping around its roots.



Commercial value: The wood is reddish brown in color, tends to splinter

and is inclined to warp in drying. It is used in cooperage, veneer

work and for interior finish.



Other characters: On the smaller branches there are irregular

developments of cork as shown in Fig. 76, projecting in some cases

to half an inch in thickness.



Other common names: _Red gum_.



Comparisons: The _cork elm_ is another tree that possesses corky ridges

along its twigs, but this differs from the sweet gum in wanting the

spiny fruit and its other distinctive traits.



Tree Studies


How To Identify Trees
Group I The Pines
The White Pine (pinus Strobus)
The Pitch Pine (pinus Rigida)
The Scotch Pine (pinus Sylvestris)
Group Ii The Spruce And Hemlock
The Norway Spruce (picea Excelsa)
Hemlock (tsuga Canadensis)
Group Iii The Red Cedar And Arbor-vitae
Red Cedar (juniperus Virginiana)
Arbor-vitae; Northern White Cedar (thuja Occidentalis)
Group Iv The Larch And Cypress
The European Larch (larix Europaea)
Bald Cypress (taxodium Distichum)
Group V The Horsechestnut, Ash And Maple
The Horsechestnut
The White Ash (fraxinus Americana)
Sugar Maple (acer Saccharum)
Silver Maple (acer Saccharinum)
Red Maple (acer Rubrum)
Norway Maple (acer Platanoides)
Box Elder (acer Negundo)
Group Vi Trees Told By Their Form: Elm, Poplar, Gingko And Willow
American Elm (ulmus Americana)
Lombardy Or Italian Poplar (populus Nigra, Var Italica)
Gingko Or Maidenhair Tree (gingko Biloba)
Weeping Willow (salix Babylonica)
Group Vii Trees Told By Their Bark Or Trunk: Sycamore, Birch, Beech,
Blue Beech, Ironwood, And Hackberry
The Sycamore Or Plane Tree (platanus Occidentalis)
Gray Or White Birch (betula Populifolia)
American Beech (fagus Americana)
Blue Beech Or Hornbeam (carpinus Caroliniana)
Hackberry (celtis Occidentalis)
Group Viii The Oaks And Chestnut
White Oak (quercus Alba)
Black Oak (quercus Velutina)
Red Oak (quercus Rubra)
Pin Oak (quercus Palustris)
Chestnut (castanea Dentata)
Group Ix The Hickories, Walnut And Butternut
Shagbark Hickory (hicoria Ovata)
Mockernut Hickory (hicoria Alba)
Black Walnut (juglans Nigra)
Group X Tulip Tree, Sweet Gum, Linden, Magnolia, Locust, Catalpa,
Dogwood, Mulberry And Osage Orange
Tulip Tree (liriodendron Tulipifera)
Sweet Gum (liquidambar Styraciflua)
American Linden (tilia Americana)
The Magnolias