A medium growth rate indicates a tree that has a vertical growth of between 13 to 24" per year. 2. Human Use. Who knew?! Because a sweet gum tree may grow 80 feet tall and hose-end sprayers typically have a maximum good-pressure range of up to 30 feet, spraying a mature sweet gum adequately is difficult for a homeowner. Pat from Lubbock, TX Answer: Pat, Sweet Gum trees are considered to have a medium to fast growth rate. The seed pods can create new seedlings spreading the tree in late saplings. Sweet Gum Healing. It is theoretically possible to eliminate the balls each year but it is a difficult process. Common name: 'Slender Silhouette' American sweetgum Botanical name:Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Slender Silhouette’ Foliage: Deciduous, star-shaped. While these can be annoying to find around your yard or to step on, there are quite a few crafts that can be made from the seed pods with a little creativity and a few supplies. The only difference is sweetgum balls drop all fall and winter. The seeds of the sweetgum are eaten by birds, squirrels, and chipmunks. The wood of sweetgum is used for many purposes, particularly veneer, furniture, flooring, interior trim, and woodenware. The sweetgum is a valuable commercial hardwood, second in production only to oaks among the hardwoods. Hardiness Zone: 7a. Fruit: a peculiar spiny ball, golfball-sized, that persists through winter on the tree; it is actually a round head of beaked capsules, each capsule containing one to several hard black seeds (winged or unwinged). A: The spiky seed pods of the sweetgum tree are a nuisance to many gardeners. Go out with a bucket and fill it with seed pods, and in the spring you may just use some: 1. The spiky clusters are actually balls of fruit with tiny seeds inside that birds and squirrels snack on. Lay the seed pods around young plants to deter snails and slugs who would rather not tangle with them. Do they grow fast? I need advice on how to grow sweet gum trees. https://www.pinterest.com/beckyblue65/sweetgum-tree-seed-pods Dark green in summer, turning yellow to deep red in fall. Flower: Inconspicuous white flowers in spring. In spring the sweet gum tree will get pale green flowers that will develop into the round and spiky shaped seed pods giving the tree more character. Seed-filled, spiky-textured balls develop and drop in the fall, but not in great quantity. It takes the sweet gum tree 20 to 30 years to mature enough to produce its fruit. Just like leaves, they must fall, so the tree can prep for new growth. The seed pods have a hard exterior with sharp spikes while growing and when they fall from the tree. By mid-fall, the balls are dead and seedless. It is best known for its thorny seed pods that are about the size and shape of a candy gum ball. The sweet gum is a large tree that often grows up to 100 feet tall. While you wait, the tree has much to offer. A vertical growth rate of 25" or more a year is considered fast. The chemical ethepon (Florel) releases ethylene gas when it is sprayed onto the tree branches while sweetgum flowers are present in spring. The spiky seed pods from the sweetgum tree are not only fascinating to look at, they can actually help out in the garden. The trees’ spike ball fruit is almost as telltale for identification as the star-shaped leaves. The sweet gum got its name for … Rate indicates a tree that has a vertical growth rate in summer, yellow. Possible to eliminate the balls are dead and seedless growth of between 13 to ''... Spreading the tree, the balls are dead and seedless the trees ’ ball... To look at, they must fall, but not in great quantity chemical ethepon ( )! Look at, they must fall, so the tree in late.... Drop all fall and winter the wood of sweetgum is a difficult process Answer: pat, sweet is. 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