Sweet gum has glossy green leaves with five lobes, similar to a sugar maple. Fall color is variable but can be quite dramatic, with a combination of yellows, reds, and purples. It produces spiny brown balls of fruit that drop off the tree over an extended period.
sweetgum tree .
Also, are sweet gum balls poisonous? Sweet Gum Trees They bloom with inconspicuous, yellowish-green flowers in the spring that turn to seedpods -- which are often called gumballs -- in the fall. The tree is not toxic to dogs and cats, but the seedpods do present a different type of health threat.
Sweet gum fruits are spiky green balls that turn brown through winter and fall to the ground November through May. They are 1 3/4 inches in diameter and have prickly points that open to let the seeds out. Two winged seeds fall from each hole and there are 50 per ball.
The American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) is a fast-growing deciduous tree hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 4 through 9. This tree is also known as the American planetree or the buttonball tree, due to the brown, spiky seed balls it produces each year.
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Drill holes into the top and sides of the tree stump with a hand drill. Dip a paint brush into glyphosate herbicide and paint the stump and holes. Allow the herbicide to run down into the drill holes.
They Exist for a Reason. Sweet gum balls start out plump and green, but they dry as they mature. The spines become even spinier, and holes open up to reveal seeds inside the balls. These seeds are food for about 25 species of birds, chipmunks and squirrels, says Texas Parks and Wildlife.
However, this long-lived tree - the sweet gum can live more than 150 years -doesn't flower or produce seed for the first 15 to 20 years of its growth.
The vicious seed pods have impaled many a forager and has done much to ruin the Sweet Gum's reputation. Perhaps it is time for some rehabilitation. The only edible part of the tree is the dried sap which makes a fragrant, bitter chewing gum. Despite its name the gum is not sweet.
So far, they don't really burn with much flame, they just smoke. If the sweet gum balls actually burn, even if it is quickly, I'd be tempted to try using them for kindling or just as a occasional boredom remedy.
Description. General: Sweetgum is a deciduous tree that is a member of the Hamamelidaceae, or witch-hazel family. It is named after the sweet balsamic sap which, when exposed, hardens into a fragrant gum.
How to Clean Sweet Gum Balls From LawnPick up the sweet gum balls by hand while wearing a pair of gardening gloves. Rake the sweet gum balls into a pile with a standard leaf rake. Roll over your lawn with a rolling nut picker-upper like the Nut Wizard or Pecan Picker Upper. Donate your sweet gum balls to fellow gardeners or crafty neighbors.
Sweet gum tree has maple-like leaves that turn yellow to red in the fall. See more pictures of trees. Sweet gum tree is a tall, majestic tree that's difficult to beat for symmetrical beauty in a landscape setting. Although native to eastern North America, it is widely planted throughout the continent in its range.
They grow pyramidal in shape to heights from 50 to 120 feet tall and make a nice shade tree, except for one problem. These balls hang on the trees in the fall and sometimes don't fall off until winter or early spring. When they do they almost completely cover the ground and are very difficult to pick up.
Most lawn mower vacuum systems clog up with the sweetgum balls, and a standard mower shoots them out the sides of the mower deck, making them into fast-moving projectiles. Instead, use a pull-behind or self-propelled lawn vacuum or nut pickup system for cleaning up the spiky fruit.
According to a recent report from The Incline, yinzers commonly refer to them as monkey balls. The tree they come from is officially called the maclura pomifera. Other nicknames include osage orange, hedge apple, horse apple, bow wood, yellow wood or monkey brain tree.
How to Identify a Sweetgum TreeTree Habit/Form – Sweetgum trees grow fairly tall. Buds and Corky projections – Look to trees terminal buds. Leaves – The glossy green star-shaped leaves of the sweetgum are somewhat maple tree-like. Fruit – Sweetgum have very distinctive spiky, spherical, brown fruit that is approximately 1 to 3 inches in diameter.
Sweet gum works good for the "shoulder seasons" when the outside temperatures are mild. Many people compare the burning qualities of sweet gum firewood to pine firewood except sweet gum does not contain the sticky sap that's associated with pine. It burns fast and hot and creates a lot of ashes.
Sweet gum trees have various medicinal uses. Their fruit is effective against rheumatic pain. The bark has astringent properties and addresses dysentery and diarrhea. Gum resin from the trees has anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties and has been used to treat bedsores, topical herpes and angina.
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