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American Sweetgum

Botanical Name
Liquidambar styraciflua
Min Zone
5
Max Zone
9
Height
60 to 75 feet
Width
40 to 75 feet
Flowers
May: monoecious, yellow-green, not showy
Fruit
1 to 1.5 inch spiny ball
Fall Color
Orange, red, burgundy, purple
Light
Full sun to part shade
Soil
Deep, moist, well-drained, acidic
Planting & Care
  • Transplant balled and burlap or container grown in spring
  • Fleshy root system takes a while to establish
  • Because of wide geographical range, it is important to use northern nursery sources when growing in the north
Problems
Chlorosis in high pH soils, fruit litter, -20 degrees causes dieback
Varieties
  • Cherokee (Liquidambar styraciflua 'Ward') - nearly fruitless  form, dark green leaves turn burgundy-red in fall, corky bark characteristics
  • Gold Dust (Liquidambar styraciflua 'Goduzam') - green leaves with gold speckled variegation, probably Zone 5b
  • Moraine - most hardy variety, upright oval compact growth, bright red fall color
  • Rotundiloba - nearly fruitless form named for leaves with rounded lobes, Zone 6

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