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SCIENTIFIC NAME: Liquidambar styraciflua
FAMILY: Hamamelidaceae

This tree in Colorado The Colorado State Champion Sweetgum (DBH 17”/Height 57’) is located in Fort Collins. Please refer to the Colorado Tree Coalition’s Fort Collins Notable Tree Tour for its location.

Hardiness Zones 5 to 9.

Growth rate Medium to fast.

Growth habit Pyramidal when young, rounded at maturity.

Foliage Alternate, simple, 4 to 7.5” wide and about as high, star shaped leaves with 5 to 7 finely serrate lobes. Leaves are medium green in summer and orange, purple, red or yellow in autumn.

Flowers Color: green , yellow; characteristics: inconspicuous and not showy; spring flowering.

Fruit Long-stemmed, woody and bur-like; approximately 1-1/2 inches in diameter.

Bark Grayish brown, deeply furrowed into narrow, somewhat rounded ridges.

Insects and diseases Iron chlorosis can be a problem on high pH soils, sweetgum webworm, sweetgum scale, caterpillars, walnut scale, bleeding necrosis, leaf spots.

Cultivars Many.

Landscape value Lawn, park, or street tree but needs large area for root development. Site requirements: sun to partial shade; dry to moist soil. Most vigorous in moist sites.

Interesting features Fruit of this tree can be both a good identification feature and quite messy.

Information sources
Michael Dirr, Manual of Woody Landscape Plants (University of Georgia, 1990)

Photo credits
Forestry Images website
Cirrus image website