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

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