Should I Cut Down My Sweet Gum Tree? Pros and Cons

Should I cut down my sweet gum tree? If you are in doubt, then we will help you get to know him better in this article.

Should I Cut Down My Sweet Gum Tree Pros and Cons

About Sweet Gum Tree

The sweetgum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua) is a large, deciduous tree that can grow up to 150 feet tall and wide. It has a smooth, gray-green bark and fragrant, pink flowers in late spring. The sweetgum tree is native to the southeastern United States, where it can be found in open woodlands and along streams. The fruit is a round drupe 2-3 inches in diameter and contains a single seed.

The canopy of the sweet gum tree has the shape of a pyramid. The sweet gum trees, as they become older, round out and become more rounded. Sweet gum trees are beloved by the community because the star-shaped leaves, which may range from 4 to 7 inches in length, making them excellent shade trees.

The leaves of the sweet gum tree undergo a dazzling transformation as autumn arrives. The seed pods of the sweet gum tree are distinctive in that they are sticky and spherical like gumballs, which is how the tree got its name. The sweet gum tree is the type of tree that is typically used for street plantings.

The wood has a high level of hardness and quality, and it is utilized in the production of furniture. In the past, the resin was utilized in the production of chewing gum. Additionally, the resin that is exuded by the wood has been put to use in medicinal applications. This tree produces resin that can be colorless, red, or yellow in appearance, and it gives off an enticing aroma. It was also utilized as a balm, sedative, and tonic, and it was used to cure sciatica, weak nerves, and a variety of other conditions.

How To Grow a Sweet Gum Tree (Liquidambar styraciflua)?

A site that receives either whole or partial sunlight is ideal for sweetgum trees. They are able to flourish in virtually every type of soil, from sand to clay, with pH ranging from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. They have a lot of roots that are shallow, but they often have some roots that are deep, and those deep roots favor moist, deep soil. These plants can survive the harsh winters in zones 5 through 9.

The best place to grow a sweet gum tree is in full sun or partial shade. You will also need good soil conditions and plenty of water. Give your tree regular fertilization and prune it regularly to keep it healthy.

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Sweet Gum Tree Care


It needs little heat. It grows in Zones 5-9. Eastern and northern US. It prefers sun or shade. Plant seedlings or young trees in spring or fall.


Sweetgum requires less water. Growth requires mild humidity. Maintain humidity while planting until the plant has a strong root system. Rainwater can take over during vegetative development. We can help plants survive droughts by watering them.


Sweet gum grows on sandy, clay, and loamy soils. pH-wise, the earth is acidic to alkaline. Deep, loose, humus-rich soils are ideal. Acidic to neutral pH soils.


Phosphorus fertilizers are indicated for rooted, nitrogen for growth, and potassium for blooming and bud production. Our trees will develop just slightly slower if we do none of the following. Fallen leaves are the sole work throughout growing season.

During the active growing season, Sweetgum trees require very little attention from their owners. Let’s say we want our plants to develop swiftly while maintaining their overall health. In this situation, it is advisable to fertilize using organic fertilizers once every year, every other year, or once every third year, depending on the level of manure that has been applied. It is possible to obtain satisfactory outcomes by providing mineral fertilizers as a supplement throughout the development phase.

READ: Fruits That Grow In Clay Soil, What is it and How?

Should I Cut Down My Sweet Gum Tree?

Should I Cut Down My Sweet Gum Tree

When sweet gum trees’ large root systems protrude from the earth and obstruct more advantageous vegetation or house foundations, they become overbearing. When this occurs, homeowners decide to cut trees down in order to prevent additional harm.

However, it is preferable to consider the pros and cons of having a sweet gum tree before making the decision to take down the tree.


  • The production of wood for further processing
  • The extraction of resin from sweet gum trees
  • Ornamental trees that have leaves of stunning beauty
  • They produce shadiness
  • It’s doesn’t require extra attention


  • Produces roots that are quite shallow and have the potential to cause harm to nearby structures and surfaces, such as roads and fences.
  • In the autumn, we will have a lot of work ahead of us in the form of raking leaves due to the fact that this plant produces a lot of leaves.
  • When trees get too huge, they might pose a risk to the top of the home as well as certain lines, such electric wires.
  • Produces balls with sharp edges that are dangerous for youngsters to play with.

Sweet Gum Tree Problems

In addition to being temperamental about transplanting, sweet gums are also sensitive to many pests and diseases. Should i cut down my sweet gum tree when this problem is happening. Here are a few issues that may impact your sweet gums.

Root rot

Sweet gums are susceptible to the same bacterial root rot diseases found in many vegetables, including tomatoes. Because it can be difficult to detect this condition in young plants, it is important to make sure you are getting adequate air circulation in your containers, especially if the soil is wet. If possible, repot the trees once or twice a year so you can ensure that you have enough drainage.

Root knot nematode

This pest is most damaging to citrus. This parasitic worm is a common problem in container gardens because of moist, dark conditions. Make sure that your trees have a proper mix of organic matter and plenty of air circulation in their containers to combat this problem.

Diseases caused by viruses and fungi

Most diseases that affect trees and vegetables are transmitted by means of an insect vector or windborne spores, but some are caused by bacteria or viruses. Diseases caused by viruses or fungi are more likely to occur in wet soils and humid conditions. It is important to make sure you provide your plants with a healthy dose of air circulation in their containers. Because of this virus Should i cut down my sweet gum tree.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are the roots of sweetgum trees deep?

In addition to their numerous shallow roots, they do have some deep roots which favor wet, deep soil. USDA plant classification zones 5 through 9 can experience winters with them. Sweetgum trees should get frequent watering until they are established and expanding.

Is there any use for a gum tree?

The usefulness of this tree is undoubtedly widespread. The wood industry uses the tree from this facility for heating and the construction of furniture. There are several medicinal uses for the resin. It is cultivated primarily for its ornamental qualities.

These trees’ gum has been utilized as chewing gum and even in the creation of medications and salves to treat a number of illnesses, wounds, and as a crucial component in adhesives. The tree’s twigs were formerly even employed as toothbrushes.

What is the lifespan of a sweet gum tree?

A sweet gum tree may survive for 100 to 150 years. A tree begins to produce seed pods when it is 20 to 30 years old. Each year, a lot of spike-ball-shaped seed pods can be produced.

Sweet gum: is it invasive?

Pioneer trees include sweetgum trees. These are trees that can spread swiftly and readily from seeds, often displacing all other plants in their path. As a result, they can become invasive in a region.

Is sweetgum a hardwood?

Sweet Gum is a hardwood. In addition to this, it is one of most significant hardwoods used in industry in the Southeastern United States. It is a little higher in strength and stiffness than a lot of other species of hardwood in terms of its level of hardness.

Is the fruit of the sweet gum tree edible?

Is the fruit of the sweet gum tree edible

Even though they can’t be eaten, the balls are versatile enough to serve as a prickly mulch that keeps animals away from small plants. You may even get creative with them and use them to make seasonal trinkets or ornamental balls for bowls. This opens up a whole world of possibilities.

How are sweet gum balls picked up?

The balls may be removed effectively and exercised with the use of a close-tined rake and bagging. Using a motor blower to blast them into a mound so they are ready for bagging is another way to remove them.

Is it difficult to break apart sweetgum?

The most difficult part of working with sweetgum is splitting it. It is difficult to take apart in pieces. The use of a splitting axe or maul makes this an incredibly difficult task. It’s not easy, even with a log splitter that uses hydraulic pressure.


If you read the article, “Should I Cut Down My Sweet Gum Tree?,” you had the opportunity to gain an understanding of the fundamental qualities. We have made an effort to explain the life cycle of this plant to you as well as the numerous arguments in favor of and against the growing of this plant.

We hope that you were able to get the information that you required to comprehend the life cycle of this plant as well as the primary qualities that it possesses. In the conclusion, it is up to you to decide whether or not you want to retain these trees because of the benefits they provide, or whether or not it concerns you for a number of different reasons, in which case you choose to support them.

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