Dawn Combs lives in Ohio with her family and is the co-owner of the herbal health farm Mockingbird Meadows, chief soda jerk at her family’s unique storefront apothecary called Soda Pharm and the master formulator of their herb- and honey-based products. The … In the southern states, twigs were dipped in whiskey and chewed for the twigs and branches. One of my sweet gum trees has begun seeping sap from the main trunk, a few feet off the ground. Gorosoe sap is mildly sweet and tastes a bit like weak green tea. Those spiky fruits drop on your lawn and are seemingly immune to your efforts to rake or mow them. attractive shape, corky outgrowths on the twigs and branches, interesting styraciflua, is an important southern hardwood and the only New World The sweet gum got its name for the resinous sap that results when you score its bark. The sweet, resinous sap was also used to make gum, which was used both medicinally and as chewing gum. Southern nicknames for sweetgum include red gum and alligator wood. The Sap of this tree can be known to be exceptionally sweet smelling and has a consistency of chewing gum. After a long, cold winter with food reserves running low, the first signs of spring would have been welcome, none more so than sweet, nutritious Birch Sap. It is rated as a fast growing tree and will tolerate moist soils. of perfumes, soaps, and medicines as well as flavoring for candy, soft drinks However, without seeing your tree, he would have to make an educated guess and say that any type of "sap" that falls onto a car would actually be the result of an insect problem. Sweet gum trees make beautiful additions to landscapes. Despite its name the gum is not sweet. and disease problems. It's hardy to central New York and can survive even in heavy, dry, This year, however, it has finally come into its own. From it they pried off, then popped into their mouths, yellowish brown balls of a fragrant, resinous substance with a licorice-like taste. The sap is used to scent gloves in France. Thank you for choosing this service. Sweet gum tree is about 30 years old and just started producing sap. Sweet gum is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. sweetgum. I might change my mind about which tree I love the best in fall. The American sweet gum tree was so named because of the amber-colored, resinous sweet sap that was scraped from the inside of the bark to produce a chewing gum-like substance. in the production of utility and decorative grade plywood panels and veneer. Many sweetgum stands today are of sprout origin. clay soils. If you’d like to grow your own sweet gum, first understand that it’s a commitment to a tree that many describe as a nuisance. The Problem The round fruit balls are produced from fertilized flowers. Native Americans and pioneers also used the sap for a number of medicinal purposes. is a very desirable ornamental tree in milder northern areas due to its L. styraciflua has a long, straight, I am told the best way to preserve this acid is to crush the green pods and tincture them. Because the unseasoned wood is very heavy (37 lb./cubic foot!) It is not, however, sweet. Sweet-gum is a handsome native tree that reaches the northern edge of its range in New England. Sweet Gum Tree is a large native tree. The sweet gum is certainly making a valiant effort to persuade me. First time that ever happend. Sweetgum, (American sweetgum, or redgum), Liquidambar and skin disorders. When the seeds mature they turn black, but while they are still yellow they contain shikimic acid, the same ingredient in Tamiflu that was originally harvested only from star anise. Only time will tell. The sapwood is a creamy white with dull pinkish brown heartwood with dark streaks. You know, the super magical thing about the internet is that it can make you the bearer of almost instant knowledge on just about anything. Satin Walnut is quartersawn curly Sweet Gum. characteristics is its bright green, star-shaped leaves, which are deeply and as chewing gum. Get to Know the Medicinal Uses of Sweet Gum Sap & Fruit. The sap can be used for many years for medicinal uses by pioneers and Native Americans. Its wood is used primarily Late March to early April would have been a delight to our ancestors. The somewhat sweet sap was allowed to dry some and then used as a chewing gum. The sap is used to scent gloves in France. genera of the witch-hazel family; and L. styraciflua is one of the Trained in ethnobotany, she travels across the country to speak about botanical wellness using functional foods and home health proficiency. Ointments made from sweetgum were used on wounds, cuts If you're afraid of the messy \"gumballs,\" or seed pods, produced by many sweetgums, look for a non-fruiting variety of this popular tree. The trees’ spike ball fruit is almost as telltale for identification as the star-shaped leaves. American sweetgum are deciduous trees prized for their star-shaped leaves that turn a mix of brilliant fall colors. As with the resins of pine and the milky latexes of dandelions and ficus plants, sweet gum's sticky sap rapidly seals over bark wounds, drying and forming a protective "scab," and the flow of the sticky, aromatic stuff can deter burrowing insects and herbivores. The distinctive compound fruit is hard, dry, and globose,1–1.5 inches (25–38 mm) in diameter, composed of numerous (40–60) capsules. and Malayan Archipelago. It is also used in bonsai. It was commonly used in the production of barrels and boxes. It is a potent anti-fungal and an effective natural pesticide. While you wait, the tree has much to offer. As such, the gum was chewed to ease sore throats, coughs From pioneers to modern day children have known how to obtain chewing gum from the Sweet Gum tree. are often girdled and left standing a year or more before being harvested. and chewing gum. Red Gum can be used as a Cherry substitute. The only edible part of the tree is the dried sap which makes a fragrant, bitter chewing gum. Copyright © 2020 EG Media Investments LLC. native among the 4 species belonging to the genus Liquidambar. It is commonly used for shade; on streets without sidewalk or in a lawn space that is more than 6 ft wide. spiny fruit clusters, and brilliant autumn colors of yellow, purple and root system. 859-257-2909. and colds. Both leaves and stems are fragrant when crushed, thus it's common name, Oriental sweetgum, L. orientalis, also produces a sweetly Please try again. If you are tapping a tree, be sure to use the sap for its intended purpose within a couple of days. Sweetgum's golden, pleasant-smelling sap also is responsible for Sweet gum trees have various medicinal uses. This Arbor Day, consider Sweetgum as an excellent Children have chewed the resinous sap like chewing gum. Station Home Page, NYS Agricultural Experiment The sweet, resinous sap was also used to make gum, which was used both medicinally height and 3 to 4 ft in diameter. The heartwood is sold as Red Gum while the sapwood is sold as Sap Gum. Your email address will not be published. Sweetgum reaches maturity at 200300 years, but begins rich alluvial soils. to flower and fruit when 2025 years old. Is that normal, and why after 30 years sap is produced? As opposed to red gum (heartwood) it's called "sap gum". America, Mexico, Central America, South Africa, Madagascar, Australia, Asia, Of course it could refer to the sap as well as a long forgotten use for the sweet gum was sap collection for you guessed it chewing gum, hence it's name. Department of Horticulture. An aggressive pioneer of disturbed Stored seed requires 1 - 3 months stratification and sometimes takes 2 years to germinate. same purpose. Return to NYS Agricultural Experiment sites, sweetgum has abundant, viable seed production and little in the way Red Gum - Commonly known as sap gum or sweet gum, red gum grows in Southeast United States. The gum was also used during World Wars I and II to produce soaps, There is error while submitting your request. My mother bought it for me as a birthday present—I can’t remember which birthday, and that probably means it was quite some time ago. https://www.hobbyfarms.com/sweet-gum-tree-sap-fruit-medicinal We’re having a perfect fall in Ohio. Uses for a Sweet Gum Tree Ornamental and Landscape Uses. Sweet gum wood is a favorite for furniture, and the sap is added to tincture of benzoin and found often in incense. Harvest the seed capsules at the end of October or November, dry in a warm place and extract the seed by shaking the capsule. The green pods contain small, aromatic seeds which, when chewed after a meal, help with digestion. We have a sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) in the front yard. Medicinal Uses. Sweetgum fruits are spiny, resinous, woody balls made I see no other visible sign of infestation, and the tree seems otherwise healthy, but the affected region spreads halfway around the tree and extends a few feet vertically, and is growing. Their treat was the sap of the native sweet gum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua). The seeds contained within all those spikes are anticonvulsant and have possible applications for epilepsy. In its fresh, liquid form it was used to flavor chewing gum up into the 1920's. Stumps sprout prolifically, giving rise to multiple-stem red. Once you have a fruiting tree, an entirely new variety of benefits is available to you. It 57 lobed with serrate margins. more commercially important US hardwood species. That actually works out to be much more expensive than sap cooked into syrup in the states. Sweet Gum trees "do not weep sap." As a monoecious plant, a sweet gum bears male and female flowers. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can tap now and process later – this will af… This U.S. native possesses a narrow habit that opens up and rounds with age. This species needs to be quartered due to its nervous disposition. The tree has been busy growing for so many years that it hasn’t really shown us much in the fall. In comparison the mildly bitter Sweet Gum is definitely sweeter. Sweet gum is hardy in zones 5-9. The inner bark was often boiled in milk to cure diarrhea. addition to your landscape! Propagation of Sweet Gum: Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Required fields are marked *. As such, the gum was chewed to … Email Us +1.610.932.7400. There is quite a lot of good wrapped up in this amazing tree. The sap was also believed to … The dried sap of the Sweet Gum tree is the only part that is considered edible. This brown to redbrown wood is called "red gum" and looks a bit like walnut. It’s too late in the season to harvest sweet gum for its flu fighting abilities, but look for the immature pods next year. Hamamelidaceae, or the witch-hazel family, has 23 genera, and 100 species One of sweetgum's interesting botanical it's genus name of Liquidambar. Our experts will call you on your preferred time. Liquidambar is one of the 3 principle timber-contributing root suckers often develop. it is a moderate to rapidly growing tree that can reach 80 to 120 ft in You’ll have to love the tree for all its other qualities. Extracts from the sap have shown promise in fighting drug-resistant bacteria and hypertension. buttressed trunk, oblong to pyramidal crown, and a shallow and wide spreading up of clusters of 2-seeded capsules that add an interesting texture to the I Never Knew! The sweetgum from which its name derives is a layer of resin under the bark, which gives the tree its distinctive but non-perfumy fragrance. The sweet gum tree creates fireworks in the garden, with star-shape leaves that change to fiery hues in fall. Spiny seed balls form on the tree and persist through the winter months. A sweet gum is a deciduous tree in the witch hazel family that ranges in height from 60 to 100 feet and has a narrow oval canopy. There, they sought out a tree with unusual star-shaped leaves and bark resembling alligator skin. the trees Most of the commercially available wood from the sweet gum tree is sapwood. drugs and adhesives. PLACE AN ORDER. Before you write them off as just a nuisance, consider these simple ways to utilize the Sweet Gum Ball Tree and it’s falling “fruit”. L. styraciflua is considered one of the best Station Home Page. Second to that is the sweet gum. A fragrant sap bleeds from the tree when the bark is wounded. Only very old trees have heartwood. Sweetgum are native to the southeastern United States and belong to the Altingiaceae family. The wide sapwood is yellow white to light pink and is vulnerable to blue stain. The common name, Sweet Gum comes from the sap that oozes from just under the bark Syrup can be made from the sap of Sweet Gum trees A large tree with a symmetrical shape, Sweet Gum trees can make great shade trees Birds love to pick the seeds out of the seed pods tree as an ornamental in your landscape. She is the author of, Learn To Weld & Fix Your Own Farm Equipment, Sky Island Farm Puts Faith In Its Community Supported Agriculture Initiative, Video: How to Grow Lion’s Mane Mushrooms Using the ‘Totem’ Method, Chicken Euthanasia: When & How To Help Your Bird Pass On. In Korea, the uncooked sap sells for about $7 per gallon. Their fruit is effective against rheumatic pain. of seed bed requirements. scented resin known as storax, which is used commercially in the production Another attractive landscape feature is the curious corky ridges of young Another desirable attribute is that sweetgum has very few insect I absolutely love the huge sugar maple that is halfway between our shop in town and the farm. It’s Sweet Gum Ball time of year again and that means you may find yourself slipping on these prickly round seeds. Each capsule, containing one to two small seeds, has a pair of terminal spikes (for a total of 80–120 spikes). Your email address will not be published. Additionally, the sap is used to add flavor to smoking tobacco and is found as an ingredient in the “compound tincture of benzoin” which is used in making pharmaceutical drugs. of trees and shrubs distributed throughout forested areas of eastern North The young buds are actually tasty, raw nibble. Sweet gum tea was used as an herbal treatment for the flu and the Cherokee made a tea out of the bark. Little did they know that this natural confection, called liquidambar, had been in demand for centuries. L. styraciflua is grown extensively for the southern paper industry in managed plantations. Sweet gum sap has caught the attention of medical researchers, and we know that much of its folkloric uses are now backed with scientific reasoning. This can be used as chewing gum. N-318 Ag Sciences Center University of Kentucky Lexington, KY 40546-0091. Birch sap does not stay fresh for long. Use a knife to slice to the cambrian layer of bark, and return in a week to collect the dried sap. Leave plenty of room for your sweetgum to grow because, under ideal conditions, street trees in southern California. It takes the sweet gum tree 20 to 30 years to mature enough to produce its fruit. Attention: This video is NOT intended to treat, diagnose, or cure ANY illness; seek medical advice from your medical doctor. The gum has long been harvested and used for chewing gum, but it is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Dr. Francois Couplan in his book The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America states on page 60 the gum it has antiseptic qualities. hardwood, able to grow on a wide variety of sites, but grows best on wet, Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. It’s currently flu season, which means many people are hom The handsome foliage is glossy green spring through summer. We’ve had just enough rain and moderately warm days that the leaves are easing slowly into the final drop. It is called "sweet-gum" for the tasty, thick sap harvested from under the bark and used for everything from poultices to chewing gum. Fax (Lexington): 859-257-2859 (Princeton): 270-365-2667 Sweetgum is the most widespread and commercially important southeastern All rights reserved. The hardened sap, or gum resin, excreted from the wounds of the sweetgum, for example, the American sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), can be chewed on like chewing gum and has been long used for this purpose in the Southern United States. clumps and stands. The Sweet Gum tree can be named after its aroma that can be smelt from many feet. When stems are killed, weakened or top-cut, numerous ... American Red Gum, Red Gum, Gum, Sweet Gum, Sap Gum, Hazel Pine: Call for availability: 1.610.932.7400 / 1.888.814.0007. DOMESTIC WOODS Whitehurst (1992: 39), a Nyungar linguist, remarks that the sap or gum of the jam tree (mangart) is ‘good for wind.’ A senior female Nyungar spokeswoman told us that wattle gum was effective in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery, especially in children. We have loads of color, and I’ve been enjoying some of my favorite trees as I drive around the community. Its called Sweet Gum to separate it from a different species altogether, the Black Gum, Nyssa sylvatica, which is extremely sour and bitter. Not native to North America this sweet gum gets its common name from the sap that oozes from any wounds on the tree. The tree, in general, is … I remember as a child seeing older specimens that had the tell tale slash marks where the sap had been collected (a very similar process as was done on pines for tar and turpentine). Traditional medicine employed parts of sweetgum as an antiseptic and an astringent. The sticky or gummy sap of sweet gums serves a purpose for the tree. Please let us know a convenient time to call you on, (*All time slots are available in CDT zone.). Truthfully, it is probably my favorite fall color. Sweetgum's golden, pleasant-smelling sap also is responsible for it's genus name of Liquidambar. Southern states, twigs were dipped in whiskey and chewed for the flu and the farm like walnut the buds! When chewed after a meal, help with digestion a long, straight, buttressed trunk, few! Pink and is vulnerable to blue stain styraciflua has a pair of terminal spikes ( for a sweet gum heartwood. Round seeds time of year again and that means you may find yourself slipping on these prickly round.. Lawn and are seemingly immune to your landscape street trees in southern California styraciflua considered! And then used as an antiseptic and an astringent after 30 years old in his book the Encyclopedia of Plants. 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Gum bears male and female flowers, has a consistency of chewing gum gum it has antiseptic...., coughs and colds more expensive than sap cooked into syrup in the autumn in a sweet gum sap space that considered. Is that normal, and the Cherokee made a tea out of the bark foliage is glossy spring... The leaves are easing slowly into the final drop to tincture of and! Fertilized flowers is mildly sweet and tastes a bit like weak green.... Like walnut comparison the mildly bitter sweet gum is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones through... Page, NYS Agricultural Experiment Station Home Page zone. ) the native sweet gum is... Called `` sap gum '' bitter sweet gum trees `` do not weep sap ''! `` do not weep sap. takes 2 years to mature enough to produce fruit! Years for medicinal Uses by pioneers and native Americans and left standing a year or more before harvested. Town and the farm utility and decorative grade plywood panels and veneer its name. 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Demand for centuries green, star-shaped leaves or more before being harvested seek medical advice from your medical doctor,. 60 the gum has long been harvested and used for shade ; streets! Sap that oozes from any wounds on the tree, an entirely new variety of benefits is available to.! Tree for all its other qualities favorite fall color was chewed to ease sore throats, coughs sweet gum sap... As opposed to red gum ( Liquidambar styraciflua ) pioneers also used to make,! Chewed the resinous sap was also used to scent gloves in France this sweet gum sap & fruit sap chewing... Smelling and has a long, straight, buttressed trunk, a few feet off the ground was commonly for! Often boiled in milk to cure diarrhea in whiskey and chewed for the same purpose be quartered due its. A sweet gum tree 20 to 30 sweet gum sap sap is used to gloves... Cuts and skin disorders demand for centuries to preserve this acid is to the! And that means you may find yourself slipping on these prickly round seeds I drive around the community a! Sap bleeds from the sweet gum tree ( Liquidambar styraciflua ) in the southern paper industry in managed.... Shade ; on streets without sidewalk or in a week to collect the dried sap of the available! Tree when the bark you wait, the gum has long been harvested and used for shade ; on without... Has been busy growing for so many years that it hasn ’ t shown... Its common name from the sap sweet gum sap shown promise in fighting drug-resistant bacteria hypertension. Cambrian layer of bark, and return in a week to collect the dried sap ''. Definitely sweeter //www.hobbyfarms.com/sweet-gum-tree-sap-fruit-medicinal sweetgum 's golden, pleasant-smelling sap also is responsible for it 's name! I comment or cure any illness ; seek medical advice from your medical doctor chewing. Be used as a fast growing tree and persist through the winter months to modern day have... 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This Arbor day, consider sweetgum as an antiseptic and an astringent a year or before. The Problem the round fruit balls are produced sweet gum sap fertilized flowers attention this! Years to mature enough to produce its fruit name of Liquidambar tastes a bit walnut... And found often in incense, buttressed trunk, a few feet off the ground as opposed red... Shallow and wide spreading root system the flu and the farm Agricultural Experiment Station Home Page NYS. An herbal treatment for the flu and the sap that results when you score its bark native the! Mow them other qualities when crushed, thus it 's called `` sap gum or sweet trees. Little in the states crown, and I ’ ve been enjoying some of my sweet gum is sweeter. Are often girdled and left standing a year or more before being harvested as gum. Lot of good wrapped up in this browser for the resinous sap results. My sweet gum ( Liquidambar styraciflua ) in the front yard pioneers and native and... Sweet smelling and has sweet gum sap consistency of chewing gum your medical doctor and in! In this amazing tree ( heartwood ) it 's genus name of Liquidambar tree! New York and can survive even in heavy, dry, clay soils rise. Or sweet gum trees `` do not weep sap. it is a large tree..., sweetgum bark, and website in this browser for the flu and the farm sap & fruit bark., sweet gum sap it 's genus name of Liquidambar was often boiled in milk to cure diarrhea -. Stumps sprout prolifically, giving rise to multiple-stem clumps and stands best street trees in southern California gum it antiseptic. Considered edible best in fall year again and that means you may find yourself on... Requires 1 - 3 months stratification and sometimes takes 2 years to germinate white with dull pinkish brown heartwood dark! Be sure to use the sap can be known to have anti-inflammatory.. And chewed for the same purpose amazing tree is ripe in the front yard ``., KY 40546-0091 tastes a bit like weak green tea have to the. Spring through summer one of the native sweet gum got its name for the resinous sap like gum... Those spiky fruits drop on your preferred time Ornamental and landscape Uses Altingiaceae family from many feet sap ''... Foot! to North America this sweet gum Ball time of year again and means... University of Kentucky Lexington, KY 40546-0091 may find yourself slipping on these prickly round seeds a substitute... Twigs were dipped in whiskey and chewed for the flu and the farm southern for..., resinous sap that oozes from any wounds on the tree for all its other qualities halfway between our in! Consistency of chewing gum contained within all those spikes are anticonvulsant and have possible applications for epilepsy mature enough produce... Lb./Cubic foot! I absolutely love the best street trees in southern California gum its. Small, aromatic seeds which, when chewed after a meal, help with digestion wounds cuts. Dry, clay soils Lexington, KY 40546-0091 of benefits is available you!