The bark is pale and corky hence alligator wood. American sweetgum liquidambar styraciflua also known as american storax hazel pine bilsted redgum satin walnut star leaved gum alligatorwood or simply sweetgum is a deciduous tree in the genus liquidambar native to warm temperate areas of eastern north america and tropical montane regions of mexico and central americasweet gum is one of the main valuable forest trees in the.
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The leaf of the liquidamber is similar in shape to a maple leaf in summer they are fresh and green turning in the autumn to shades of yellow orange pink and reds.
Liquid amber tree leaf. Usually there are few symptomatic leaves even on a tree in advanced decline but marginal scorch or burning of the leaf tips and edges caused by vascular disfunction is the most common figure 2. Bacterial leaf scorch causes obvious symptoms of leaf scorch which involves the normally beautiful leaves of the liquid amber tree to appear a burnt looking dark orange or brown color. Both maples and liquid amber trees also known as american sweetgum trees are prized for their sap.
Though this disease is not particularly common among sweet gum trees bacterial leaf scorch can be devastating to the life of a tree. The others are found only in asia. Liquidambar commonly called sweetgum sweet gum in the uk gum redgum satin walnut or american storax is the only genus in the flowering plant family altingiaceae and has 15 species.
The first historical reference to the tree comes from the author and soldier don bernal diaz del castillo who accompanied cortez in 1519 and was a witness to ceremonies between cortez and montezuma who both partook of a liquid amber extracted from a sweetgum tree. Liquid amber tree is a highly appreciated ornamental cultivar characterized by attractive fall foliage sweet sap and prickly seedpods. They were formerly often treated in hamamelidaceaethey are decorative deciduous trees that are used in the wood industry and for ornamental purposes.
This is not a specific symptom and may be caused by several problems but none of them are as widespread as bacterial scorch. Maple acer spp and liquid amber trees liquidambar styraciflua are similar looking trees that grow in similar climates. Liquidambar tree care is easy and only requires warm temperatures well draining soil and plenty of sunlight to feed its colorful leaves.
Left to its own devices this tree can grow tall but it responds well to pruning making it an ideal specimen to plant where. Maples and sweet gum trees grow best in usda hardiness zones 5 through 8 or 9 enduring. If you enjoy medium sized trees that offer bright vivid colored leaves during the fall liquidambar also known as liquid amber or sweetgum may be for you.
You can include it as a specimen tree or in the garden border to protect your privacy.
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