Audubon® American Sweetgum Tree
Audubon® American Sweetgum Leaf
Audubon® American Sweetgum Additional Product Shot 1759
Audubon® American Sweetgum Additional Product Shot 1760
Audubon® American Sweetgum Additional Product Shot 1761
Audubon® American Sweetgum Additional Product Shot 1729
Audubon® American Sweetgum Additional Product Shot 1689
Previous Next
Audubon® American Sweetgum Tree
Audubon® American Sweetgum Leaf
Audubon® American Sweetgum Additional Product Shot 1759
Audubon® American Sweetgum Additional Product Shot 1760
Audubon® American Sweetgum Additional Product Shot 1761
Audubon® American Sweetgum Additional Product Shot 1729
Audubon® American Sweetgum Additional Product Shot 1689

Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-9
  • Spacing: 30-40'
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Show more ›

Audubon® American Sweetgum

Liquidambar styraciflua
Add To Cart

We currently do not deliver to your area at this time, please contact us to discuss other options.

Take Birds Under Your Wing

New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees

  • Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
  • Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)

In autumn, we look forward to the crazy-quilt colors of American Sweetgum’s leaves. But birds look forward to something else. They are seeking out the spiky “gumballs” that hang from the branches. When the seeds ripen inside, the funky fruits become a plethora of tiny birdfeeders! American Goldfinches, Purple Finches, Red-winged Blackbirds, chickadees, and titmice are fans. Sparrows, doves, towhees, and juncos may linger on the ground to gather up seeds spilled there. The noble native Sweetgum Tree also hosts a wide array of caterpillars, which make up an important part of many birds’ diets, especially when they are raising their young. A beautiful, bountiful, bird-friendly tree.

Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.

  • The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
  • This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
  • Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
  • Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
  • Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch

Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.

Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-9
  • Spacing: 30-40'
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Show more ›

The Story

In the early 1900’s a Sweetgum tree at Kittyhawk stood quietly by watching Wilbur and Orville Wright develop flight as we know it today. I imagine the young tree rooting (no pun intended) for them as they experimented with kites, gliders and eventually airplanes. Perhaps the tree even cheered as they successfully flew the first heavier-than-air powered plane on December 17, 1903 in that field in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The first commercial flight was scheduled in Tampa, Florida in 1914. Today at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, a seedling from the original Sweetgum tree was planted in honor of the Wright Bros.

The Details

The festive fall foliage colors is what will cause you to have stars in your eyes! This native's large five-pointed star shaped leaves change from glossy green in summer to yellows, reds and purples in Autumn. Spiky golf ball size fruit keeps the fall foliage company. The fruit may be a nuisance to some, but can be a crafty resource to others. Corky gray bark is present year round, but gives you stellar appeal in winter!

How to Grow

Sweetgums are fast growing and best recognized by their star-shaped leaves. You might also recognize their spiky ball-shaped seedpods, you usually see them scattered on the ground – a good reason not to plant this tree along a sidewalk or by your patio. Sweetgums like to be planted in full sun and they are really tolerant of all soil conditions. This is one easy-to-grow tree! After you initially plant your Sweetgum, be sure to keep it watered for the first few years. This helps your tree become established in your garden. Another thing you could do to help your tree is to fertilize about once a year for the first few years. Give your Sweetgum an application of medium rate fertilizer, preferably in fall. As your tree grows, you might need to prune off some of the lower branches if they are growing too low on the trunk, this is what I like to call “limbing up” your tree. Sweetgums are almost pest-free. Some common pests are borer and webworm. Most of the time when a pest problem occurs, it is because the tree has become stressed. Proper tree care and maintenance will usually rule out most future problems with insects or diseases.

More Info

Cold Tolerance/Hardiness Zone 5
Heat Tolerance/Hardiness Zone 9
Exposure Full Sun
Avg Mature Height 60'
Avg Mature Width 40'
Spacing 30-40'
Growth Rate Medium-Fast
Leaf Color Green
Fall Leaf Color Red/Orange/Yellow/Purple
Fruit Color Brown
Fruit Time Fall
Cary Award Winner No
PA Gold Medal Award No
Attractive Bark Yes
Attracts Birds Yes
Attracts Butterflies No
Attracts Hummingbirds No
Attracts Pollinators No
Deer Resistant Yes
Drought Tolerant Yes
Dry, Poor Soils No
Edible Fruit No
Fragrant No
Groundcover No
Hedge/Windbreak Yes
Native Yes
Salt Tolerance/Seashore Yes
Seasonal Cut Branches No
Shade Tolerance No
Showy Flowers No
Specimen Yes
Urban Conditions Yes
Utility Line Trees No
Wet Moist Soils Yes
Winter Interest Yes
Woodland Garden Yes
Decor/Craft Use No

Size Guide

Size Guide Scale

Scale

This graphic shows the approximate size and form of the Tree you are viewing.

Audubon® American Sweetgum Tree
Audubon® American Sweetgum Leaf
Audubon® American Sweetgum Additional Product Shot 1759
Audubon® American Sweetgum Additional Product Shot 1760
Audubon® American Sweetgum Additional Product Shot 1761
Audubon® American Sweetgum Additional Product Shot 1729
Audubon® American Sweetgum Additional Product Shot 1689