Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua 'Slender Silhouette')

Location and Notable Facts

  • Other names
    •  Gum Tree
    • American Sweetgum
  • Scientific Family
    •  Altingiaceae (Sweetgum Family)
  • Discovery
    • Was discovered growing in Tennessee near a railroad track.
  • Size (Width/Height/Growth/DBH)
    • Can get 50 feet tall and only 5 feet wide
  • Colors
    •  Fall colors are a pale yellow, orange or red


  • Bloom/Seed/Fruit
    • Claims to be fruitless, but is far from it.

liquidambar_styraciflua_bloomPhoto credit to Yale University

  • Leaf Arrangement 
    •  Alternate, star shaped with 5 pointed lobes

unnamedPhoto credit to University of Florida

  • Bark Arrangement 
    • Bark on twigs 2 years or older often roughened by corky scales or ridges; bark on older trunks light gray, rather deeply and irregularly fissured

img_2817Photo credit to Yale University

  • Invasive/Non-invasive
    •  Non-invasive, but can reproduce prolifically
  • Native/Non-native
    •  Native
  • Pests/Disease
    •  None
  • Comparisons to similar trees
    •  N/A
  • Usefulness
    • Ornamental, especially this variety in its fastigate (Columnar) form 
  • Local Location / History:  
    • Located around the parking lot at the corner of Church and Cottage streets.