Goldfinches, purple finches, squirrels, and chipmunks eat the seeds of the tree. Provide some light shade at midday to keep the peat mixture from drying out too rapidly. The downside to growing a sweetgum tree is the seed pods. behind it. We do this with marketing and advertising partners (who may have their own information they’ve collected). Watch for germination in 20 to 30 days at temperatures around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. In the southern U.S. sweetgum is an important timber tree and is used primarily for veneer for furniture. Mulch heavily with mildly acidic mulch and keep them well-watered for their first summer. I’m fairly certain that one fertile sweet gum seed in the picture is lying just above the pine needle bundle. This tree is also known as sour-gum or pepperidge and was called tupelo by Native Americans. The heartwood is pink and is referred to as redgum. Sweet gum fruits are spiky green balls that turn brown through winter and fall to the ground November through May. The national champion sweetgum (136 feet) is in North Carolina. Add water only if it feels almost dry. Gather one or two sweetgum fruits in autumn after they turn solid brown. Many people think of sweet gum balls as a nuisance, but they can be used to make many types of crafts. Ouch. The branches of a sweet gum aren’t terribly lengthy or thick. Pecan (Carya illinoinensis) Who doesn't like pecans? Water only if the weather is dry for longer than two weeks. ‘Rotundiloba' - Leaves of this fruitless cultivar are lobed rather than pointed. Sweet Gum trees look innocent, innocuous even, with long, straight trunks that don’t bend and sway like a supple willow. Grows in a pyramidal shape, becoming more oval or rounded with age. They can simply be an eyesore and a pain to deal with. Mature leaves are 4 to 7 inches (10 to 18 cm.) Like many trees, sweetgum is monoecious, producing unisexual flowers different parts of the same tree. Black gum or sour gum tree facts can be rather fascinating for arborists who study this hardy, towering native species. Thin out the smaller of the two sweetgum seedlings from each container, if both seeds successfully germinate. The white sapwood is called sapgum. Needs plenty of … Her nearly 20 years of experience in horticulture informs her work, which has appeared in publications such as Mother Earth News. The branches of some sweetgum trees can have unusually corky ridges. See more ideas about sweet gum, sweet gum tree crafts, crafts. Check the bag periodically and moisten the perlite when it feels dry. If you have sweet gum ball trees on your property, you might see the seeds as a huge nuisance. The round fruit balls are produced from fertilized flowers. N-318 Ag Sciences Center University of Kentucky Lexington, KY 40546-0091, Fax (Lexington): 859-257-2859       (Princeton): 270-365-2667, For questions about home gardening, landscaping or commercial horticulture production, please contact your county extension agent. Yields long-stemmed, woody, burr-like fruit that is approximately 1½" in diameter. In the photo above, I think I can see two or three fertile sweet gum seeds. Dwarf Apple. Press the seeds into the perlite. It’s too late in the season to harvest sweet gum for its flu fighting abilities, but look for the immature pods next year. If there’s a sweet gum in your yard, you can forget about walking around barefoot once the seedpods fall in autumn and winter. They feel very hard so do we need to get the insides out to plant or would they naturally normally grow by the whole but being forced / covered in earth? The seeds stratify within 30–90 days at 33°â€“41 °F or soaked in water for 15–20 days. Choose ones that have not yet opened since the seeds are less likely to be damaged by insects or moisture exposure. Most sweetgum trees are propagated by seed, which must be chilled for a minimum of one month to satisfy their dormancy requirements. They usually appear like they are covered with rusty hairs. Jun 11, 2019 - Explore lisa landerholm's board "BGC sweet gum seed pod crafts" on Pinterest. By mid-fall, the balls are dead and seedless. Turns out, they are the seed pods from the sweetgum tree. Like many of our other native tree seeds, sweet gum seeds have “wings” that allow them to float far from mother trees on autumn breezes. The leaves flutter easily in the slightest of breezes and form a rounded canopy. Shrub-like habit. The barbs are carried to new locations when they latch onto animals' fur. ‘Gold Star' - Variegated form of sweetgum with splotches of yellow over green. Short Answer. The seeds are lightweight and have a small wing that allows them to be carried by the wind. As I took a solo walk through the forest, I practiced identifying the trees around me without looking up. Moisten the sand to settle it. It grows in moist flat areas in association with pin oak or sycamore. Sweetgum are native to the southeastern United States and belong to the Altingiaceae family. Send mail to cgcass0@uky.edu with questions about this site. Fill 10-inch nursery containers with a mix of 3 parts milled peat, 1 part loam and 1 part coarse sand. The seeds contained within all those spikes are anticonvulsant and have possible applications for epilepsy. For graduate student information, contact Dr. Doug Archbold at 859-257-3352, or darchbol@uky.edu, Sweetgum - Liquidambar styracifluaWitchhazel Family (Hamamelidaceae). Press the seeds into the perlite. Growth Rate: This Black Gum tree grows at a slow to medium growth rate. Sometimes called redgum, sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) is a large, deciduous tree species valued for its conical growth habit and dazzling, bright scarlet autumn foliage. But did you know you could possibly earn some Click here, then click on your county either on the map or from the list of counties below it. Place the sweetgum fruits in a shallow tray under cool, dry conditions for approximately one week, or until they open and disperse their seeds. They are round, about an inch across, and are covered with many pointed protuberances. Sweetgum has palmately lobed leaves, vaguely reminiscent of a maple. Seeds fall from the dangling, spiky seed balls while they are still attached to the tree. This list includes sycamore, yellow-poplar, and sweetgum trees. What Does Sweet Gum Look Like. The seeds are lightweight and have a small wing that allows them to be carried by the wind. Sweet gums are large trees that bear alternate, sharply (three- to seven-lobed) palmate leaves.The plants produce upright spikes of greenish male flowers and round drooping clusters of female flowers on the same tree.The fruits are spiny dark brown balls known as an aggregate of capsules.Each capsule contains several small seeds, and the fruits often persist through the winter. They are round and have a hole at one end and you can see the star structure inside that may have something (seeds?) They are a delicious nut! The bark is light brown and tinged with red/grayish fissures that appear with scaly ridges. Move them into full sun during the winter. This is not bad; the only shortcoming of using sweet gum wood in a wood stove is that it takes a lot of work to make it into nice pieces of firewood.. Like the maple tree, these species have leaves whose ribs or veins radiate out from a single stalk or petiole attachment in a palmate pattern (that is, the lobes resemble a set of fingers). If you look very closely, they are actually a bit scary looking–they appear to be made of a collection of tiny, dark brown bird beaks. Perhaps it is time for some rehabilitation. The branches usually carry layers of cork, while the branchlets are pithy with many angles. Sweet gum balls are the seeds that fall from sweet gum trees. opened to release its seed, which is a small, papery thing a little like a pine seed. 3. It’s simple, he watches the Gum Trees. This means that only one tree is needed for the flowers to be pollinated, and a single tree can produce the spiky fruits even when another sweet gum … The pods have sharp, spiny exteriors that will elicit a shout if you happen to be stuck with one. As a monoecious plant, a sweet gum bears male and female flowers. For undergraduate student information regarding the Sustainable Agriculture program, contact Dr. Krista Jacobsen at (859) 257-3921, or krista.jacobsen@uky.edu. Prepare a container for each sweetgum seed. The woody capsules are mostly filled with abortive seeds resembling sawdust. Probe beneath the sand or pine straw mulch to test the moisture level of the peat mixture. John owns 23 acres in Folsom and says it’s the Sweet Gum’s that tell him when fall is here. Sweet Gum. Sun: This Black Tupelo (Black Gum) does best in full sun, partial shade. Because of this, sweetgum is often seen as a pioneer species on flood plains or in abandoned fields. Burgundy™ - Good red to purple fall color, but may not be as winter hardy as the species. Shape: This is more noticeable when the trees are young. The elliptic leaves are dark green and glossy. Sow two sweetgum seeds in each container. In fact, it’s proven that sweet gum can produce up to 20.6 million BTUs per cord when used as a fuel. They are very difficult to control! The Kentucky champion tree is in Henderson County and is over 70 feet tall. Kind of like a 5-pointed star. As the species name hispida indicates, this tree has red bristles on the stems and … There are no native sweetgum trees in the inner Bluegrass region. The yellowish-white seeds are football-shaped and have grooves running their entire length. Sweet gum tree leaves have five to seven pointed lobes, and their shape will remind you of a star. This site was last updated on November 30, 2020. However, once chilled, the seeds germinate reliably if surface sown and provided with constant moisture and bright, diffuse light. Sweetgum's staminate flowers are produced in spherical heads presented in upright elongate clusters of … The shapely leaves resemble a maple. Sweetgum is native throughout Kentucky, except the Bluegrass. Yes. “I have three Gum’s in my front yard and every week during the summer when I cut the grass underneath them there aren’t any leaves. Yes, the sweet gum's spiny balls are annoying, but the worst thing about sweet gum trees are that they spread like weeds. The sweet gum tree grows in the … The spiky clusters are actually balls of fruit with tiny seeds inside that birds and squirrels snack on. Water the sweetgum seeds weekly to a 1-inch depth. They fall in abundance, they can stain cement if left for long periods, and they hurt if you step on them with bare feet. Place the potted sweetgum seeds outdoors under a sheltered, south-facing porch or wall. These technologies are used for things like interest based Etsy ads. Seeds fall from the dangling, spiky seed balls while they are still attached to the tree. Their fall color lasts much longer than most other trees. The university does not review, control or take responsibility for the contents of those sites. Space multiple trees at least 25 feet apart. The Sweet Gum tree is the sand spur of the forest. Transplant the sweetgums into the garden the following spring once soil temperatures warm to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This bottom land tree is common in western Kentucky. If you cut one down, about a dozen shoots will appear on what's left of the trunk trying to grow more little sweet gum trees. Provides brilliant fall color, with leaves turning vibrant shades of yellow, orange, red and purple. Green in the spring, they darken as autumn and winter pass, and they fall from the sweetgum by the hundreds. The seeds are about one-quarter of an inch thick, winged, and wind-dispersed. They are 1 3/4 inches … You’ve been fooled! Soil: The Black Tupelo (Black Gum) grows in acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam, well drained soils. You painfully find them with your feet. I came upon one section of the trail that was covered with spiny “monkey balls”; that’s what we called them when I was a young girl running … They thrive within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 9, where they can reach 100 feet in height at maturity. The Black Tupelo (Black Gum) has a spread of about 20' - 30' at full maturity. Place the sweetgum seeds inside a quart-sized sealable plastic bag filled with 1 cup of moistened perlite. Although the wood is heavy, it is not durable when exposed to the elements. The Sweetgum balls falling now also are opened up, looking exactly as in that picture, and they are murder to step on if you're a tired jogger on a paved road! The seed heads of the sycamore disintegrate as their seeds are dispersed; the sweet gum seed capsule, on the other hand, has a woody structure, and the gum balls are quite persistent. Chamaecyparis Obtusa Germination Instructions, How to Propagate a Weeping Mexican Pine Tree, How to Grow a Buccaneer Palm Tree From Seed, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture: Sweetgum, Texas A&M University Department of Horticulture: Propagation of Ornamental Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines, United States Department of Agriculture Plant Fact Sheet: Sweetgum. Sweetgum flowering, April 26, 2006, Columbus, OH. Just like leaves, they must fall, so the tree can prep for new growth. Copyright 2020, University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. There are no native sweetgum trees in the inner Bluegrass region. Site design : Academic Web Pages. ‘Brotzman #1' - Selected for its corky bark and winter hardiness. Sweetgum makes a large irregular-crowned tree at maturity. These seeds are often called porcupine balls because they are covered in small barbs. This is no doubt … Place the sweetgum seeds inside a quart-sized sealable plastic bag filled with 1 cup of moistened perlite. They all look like they have already opened though. Store the bag inside a refrigerator for one to three months. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Saturate the peat mixture with water and let it drain off for 20 minutes before sowing. While sweet gum is known and appreciated for its lovely fall color, it is also despised for its seeds. With the amount of shade they share, you’re apt to think, what a lovely tree. Grow the sweetgum seedlings in their nursery containers under partial shade for their first summer. Blackgum fruit are a half-inch long, appear in fall, and are bluish-black. The most distinguishing characteristic are its seed pods, produced in late summer. WARNING: Some websites to which these materials provide links for the convenience of users are not managed by the University of Kentucky. This is the most commercially important selection of sweetgum. The leaves of the black gum tree are an elongated oval shape that offer a brilliant fall show. The only difference is sweetgum balls drop all fall and winter. American sweetgum are deciduous trees prized for their star-shaped leaves that turn a mix of brilliant fall colors. Burning sweet gum with firewood is not common, but you can do it. An Equal Opportunity University. Samantha McMullen began writing professionally in 2001. For general undergraduate student information, contact Dr. Rick Durham at (859) 257-3249, or rdurham@uky.edu. Some people refer to these leaves as having a "star" form or a maple-like silhouette. Gather the seeds and discard any that look damaged. ‘Gumball' - A multistemmed, slow-growing selection with an oval shape. Spread a very thin, 1/16-inch-thick layer of coarse sand or pine straw mulch over the seeds. wide. Gather the seeds and discard any that look damaged. Water weekly to a 2-inch depth. Because of this, sweetgum is often seen as a pioneer species on flood plains or in abandoned fields. Press them onto the surface of the peat mixture. The vicious seed pods have impaled many a forager and has done much to ruin the Sweet Gums reputation. ... 24 Sweet Gum tree seed pods~ Woodland or rustic decor ~ curiosity cabinet ~ natural history collection ... Looks like you already have an account! 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