It is commonly used for shade; on streets without sidewalk or in a lawn space that is more than 6 ft wide. Email Us +1.610.932.7400. We have a sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) in the front yard. Second to that is the sweet gum. Dawn Combs lives in Ohio with her family and is the co-owner of the herbal health farm Mockingbird Meadows, chief soda jerk at her family’s unique storefront apothecary called Soda Pharm and the master formulator of their herb- and honey-based products. Stumps sprout prolifically, giving rise to multiple-stem street trees in southern California. Not native to North America this sweet gum gets its common name from the sap that oozes from any wounds on the tree. and disease problems. Their treat was the sap of the native sweet gum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua). The handsome foliage is glossy green spring through summer. Trained in ethnobotany, she travels across the country to speak about botanical wellness using functional foods and home health proficiency. It takes the sweet gum tree 20 to 30 years to mature enough to produce its fruit. Once you have a fruiting tree, an entirely new variety of benefits is available to you. height and 3 to 4 ft in diameter. and as chewing gum. red. Sweet gum tree is about 30 years old and just started producing sap. It is rated as a fast growing tree and will tolerate moist soils. It is a potent anti-fungal and an effective natural pesticide. buttressed trunk, oblong to pyramidal crown, and a shallow and wide spreading drugs and adhesives. Sweet Gum Tree is a large native tree. It was commonly used in the production of barrels and boxes. One of sweetgum's interesting botanical I remember as a child seeing older specimens that had the tell tale slash marks where the sap had been collected (a very similar process as was done on pines for tar and turpentine). My mother bought it for me as a birthday present—I can’t remember which birthday, and that probably means it was quite some time ago. Station Home Page, NYS Agricultural Experiment Oriental sweetgum, L. orientalis, also produces a sweetly is grown extensively for the southern paper industry in managed plantations. As with the resins of pine and the milky latexes of dandelions and ficus plants, sweet gum's sticky sap rapidly seals over bark wounds, drying and forming a protective "scab," and the flow of the sticky, aromatic stuff can deter burrowing insects and herbivores. it's genus name of Liquidambar. and skin disorders. of perfumes, soaps, and medicines as well as flavoring for candy, soft drinks Additionally, the sap is used to add flavor to smoking tobacco and is found as an ingredient in the “compound tincture of benzoin” which is used in making pharmaceutical drugs. attractive shape, corky outgrowths on the twigs and branches, interesting However, without seeing your tree, he would have to make an educated guess and say that any type of "sap" that falls onto a car would actually be the result of an insect problem. sweetgum. and Malayan Archipelago. root suckers often develop. From it they pried off, then popped into their mouths, yellowish brown balls of a fragrant, resinous substance with a licorice-like taste. sites, sweetgum has abundant, viable seed production and little in the way The tree, in general, is … The sweet gum tree creates fireworks in the garden, with star-shape leaves that change to fiery hues in fall. clumps and stands. This U.S. native possesses a narrow habit that opens up and rounds with age. The Sweet Gum tree can be named after its aroma that can be smelt from many feet. are often girdled and left standing a year or more before being harvested. The sweet, resinous sap was also used to make gum, which was used both medicinally The American sweet gum tree was so named because of the amber-colored, resinous sweet sap that was scraped from the inside of the bark to produce a chewing gum-like substance. up of clusters of 2-seeded capsules that add an interesting texture to the We’ve had just enough rain and moderately warm days that the leaves are easing slowly into the final drop. The inner bark was often boiled in milk to cure diarrhea. As such, the gum was chewed to ease sore throats, coughs Many sweetgum stands today are of sprout origin. in the production of utility and decorative grade plywood panels and veneer. same purpose. It's hardy to central New York and can survive even in heavy, dry, The sap can be used for many years for medicinal uses by pioneers and Native Americans. it is a moderate to rapidly growing tree that can reach 80 to 120 ft in Medicinal Uses. The sap was also believed to … Sweetgum reaches maturity at 200­300 years, but begins Return to NYS Agricultural Experiment The gum was also used during World Wars I and II to produce soaps, The somewhat sweet sap was allowed to dry some and then used as a chewing gum. You know, the super magical thing about the internet is that it can make you the bearer of almost instant knowledge on just about anything. Get to Know the Medicinal Uses of Sweet Gum Sap & Fruit. That actually works out to be much more expensive than sap cooked into syrup in the states. Red Gum - Commonly known as sap gum or sweet gum, red gum grows in Southeast United States. We have loads of color, and I’ve been enjoying some of my favorite trees as I drive around the community. I am told the best way to preserve this acid is to crush the green pods and tincture them. Your email address will not be published. Sweetgum fruits are spiny, resinous, woody balls made The trees’ spike ball fruit is almost as telltale for identification as the star-shaped leaves. addition to your landscape! The only edible part of the tree is the dried sap which makes a fragrant, bitter chewing gum. We’re having a perfect fall in Ohio. styraciflua, is an important southern hardwood and the only New World The sap is used to scent gloves in France. Late March to early April would have been a delight to our ancestors. DOMESTIC WOODS As such, the gum was chewed to … There is error while submitting your request. Its wood is used primarily Traditional medicine employed parts of sweetgum as an antiseptic and an astringent. The sweet gum is certainly making a valiant effort to persuade me. This brown to redbrown wood is called "red gum" and looks a bit like walnut. In its fresh, liquid form it was used to flavor chewing gum up into the 1920's. Only very old trees have heartwood. When stems are killed, weakened or top-cut, numerous Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Copyright © 2020 EG Media Investments LLC. Required fields are marked *. Truthfully, it is probably my favorite fall color. Stored seed requires 1 - 3 months stratification and sometimes takes 2 years to germinate. Both leaves and stems are fragrant when crushed, thus it's common name, 5­7 lobed with serrate margins. Is that normal, and why after 30 years sap is produced? All rights reserved. Liquidambar is one of the 3 principle timber-contributing American sweetgum are deciduous trees prized for their star-shaped leaves that turn a mix of brilliant fall colors. In Korea, the uncooked sap sells for about $7 per gallon. It is called "sweet-gum" for the tasty, thick sap harvested from under the bark and used for everything from poultices to chewing gum. Please try again. The gum has long been harvested and used for chewing gum, but it is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties. The sweet gum got its name for the resinous sap that results when you score its bark. L. styraciflua has a long, straight, There is quite a lot of good wrapped up in this amazing tree. The distinctive compound fruit is hard, dry, and globose,1–1.5 inches (25–38 mm) in diameter, composed of numerous (40–60) capsules. Those spiky fruits drop on your lawn and are seemingly immune to your efforts to rake or mow them. First time that ever happend. The sweet, resinous sap was also used to make gum, which was used both medicinally and as chewing gum. Despite its name the gum is not sweet. It is not, however, sweet. Department of Horticulture. An aggressive pioneer of disturbed Please let us know a convenient time to call you on, (*All time slots are available in CDT zone.). The … rich alluvial soils. Dr. Francois Couplan in his book The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America states on page 60 the gum it has antiseptic qualities. PLACE AN ORDER. Sweet gum trees make beautiful additions to landscapes. The sapwood is a creamy white with dull pinkish brown heartwood with dark streaks. Its called Sweet Gum to separate it from a different species altogether, the Black Gum, Nyssa sylvatica, which is extremely sour and bitter. characteristics is its bright green, star-shaped leaves, which are deeply ... American Red Gum, Red Gum, Gum, Sweet Gum, Sap Gum, Hazel Pine: Call for availability: 1.610.932.7400 / 1.888.814.0007. One of my sweet gum trees has begun seeping sap from the main trunk, a few feet off the ground. of seed bed requirements. Sweet Gum trees "do not weep sap." In the southern states, twigs were dipped in whiskey and chewed for the Leave plenty of room for your sweetgum to grow because, under ideal conditions, Birch sap does not stay fresh for long. Sweetgum's golden, pleasant-smelling sap also is responsible for it's genus name of Liquidambar. Hamamelidaceae, or the witch-hazel family, has 23 genera, and 100 species The sweetgum from which its name derives is a layer of resin under the bark, which gives the tree its distinctive but non-perfumy fragrance. Southern nicknames for sweetgum include red gum and alligator wood. It As a monoecious plant, a sweet gum bears male and female flowers. Sweet gum sap has caught the attention of medical researchers, and we know that much of its folkloric uses are now backed with scientific reasoning. Station Home Page. Their fruit is effective against rheumatic pain. You’ll have to love the tree for all its other qualities. 859-257-2909. From pioneers to modern day children have known how to obtain chewing gum from the Sweet Gum tree. Sweet-gum is a handsome native tree that reaches the northern edge of its range in New England. A sweet gum is a deciduous tree in the witch hazel family that ranges in height from 60 to 100 feet and has a narrow oval canopy. The Sap of this tree can be known to be exceptionally sweet smelling and has a consistency of chewing gum. Fax (Lexington): 859-257-2859 (Princeton): 270-365-2667 genera of the witch-hazel family; and L. styraciflua is one of the Sweet gum is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. Extracts from the sap have shown promise in fighting drug-resistant bacteria and hypertension. Thank you for choosing this service. tree as an ornamental in your landscape. Sweet gum wood is a favorite for furniture, and the sap is added to tincture of benzoin and found often in incense. This year, however, it has finally come into its own. Propagation of Sweet Gum: Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. The common name, Sweet Gum comes from the sap that oozes from just under the bark Syrup can be made from the sap of Sweet Gum trees A large tree with a symmetrical shape, Sweet Gum trees can make great shade trees Birds love to pick the seeds out of the seed pods Sweetgum is the most widespread and commercially important southeastern I Never Knew! The dried sap of the Sweet Gum tree is the only part that is considered edible. It’s Sweet Gum Ball time of year again and that means you may find yourself slipping on these prickly round seeds. The tree has been busy growing for so many years that it hasn’t really shown us much in the fall. There, they sought out a tree with unusual star-shaped leaves and bark resembling alligator skin. spiny fruit clusters, and brilliant autumn colors of yellow, purple and L. styraciflua The heartwood is sold as Red Gum while the sapwood is sold as Sap Gum. and chewing gum. Native Americans and pioneers also used the sap for a number of medicinal purposes. I absolutely love the huge sugar maple that is halfway between our shop in town and the farm. This species needs to be quartered due to its nervous disposition. A fragrant sap bleeds from the tree when the bark is wounded. Most of the commercially available wood from the sweet gum tree is sapwood. Another desirable attribute is that sweetgum has very few insect Use a knife to slice to the cambrian layer of bark, and return in a week to collect the dried sap. Because the unseasoned wood is very heavy (37 lb./cubic foot!) It’s too late in the season to harvest sweet gum for its flu fighting abilities, but look for the immature pods next year. Sweet gum is hardy in zones 5-9. It is also used in bonsai. The seeds contained within all those spikes are anticonvulsant and have possible applications for epilepsy. 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