The star-shaped leaves of the sweetgum are easy to spot.
The sweetgum's bark is gray-brown and furrowed.
The spiny gumball is the fruit of the sweetgum tree and contains its seeds.
Singer-songwriter, piano player and record producer Ben Folds first made a name for himself in alternative rock and pop as the leader of the Ben Folds Five between 1995 and 2000. Since then as a solo artist, he has released six albums and has collaborated on musical projects ranging from an album with actor William Shatner to his most recent album, So There, featuring a piano concerto performed with the Nashville Symphony. See other music artists talking about trees...
- Scientific name: Liquidambar styraciflua
- Range: across most of the Eastern U.S. into Texas
- Height: up to 100 feet tall
- Fruit: a spiny round, long-stemmed fruit known as a "gumball"
- Fall colors: leaves turn yellow, orange, red and purple
- Distinguishing feature: Like pin oaks, sweetgums produce pin-like, diminutive spur branches on larger branches.
- Moth food: The leaves of the sweetgum are a favorite food source for Luna Moth caterpillars.
You Can Take Care of Trees Like the Sweetgum
- Plant in late fall or winter when the tree is dormant, unless the ground is frozen. Here are tree planting instructions.
- Allow plenty of room for the tree to mature and grow.
- Water it regularly in its first three years.
- Spread mulch around the base of the tree. Here are tree care instructions.
Mighty Cool Tree Fact
Did you know... over the course of 50 years, a single tree can provide $62,000 worth of air pollution control?