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Sweetgum

Sweetgum

Sweetgum

Sweetgum  
Liquidambar styraciflua

Both common and native in Delaware, sweetgum prefers wetter sites but will grow on many soils. Easily identified by its five-pointed, star-shaped leaves and its spiny “monkey balls,” it is commonly planted in urban areas although its roots require a large area. Fall color can range from yellow to maroon to purple—all on one tree. Its wood is difficult to dry and has historically been used for low-value products such as peach baskets and ice cream spoons.

Sweetgum has leaves shaped like a six-point star missing its bottom point. The reddish-brown fruit (“monkey ball”) matures in October, and persists until early the next year.

 

Location Points C.B.H. Height Crown
Dover Air Force Base, Dover 247 110 121 64
3052 Andrews Lake Rd., Frederica 242 104 124 57
S. of Sawmill Rd., Georgetown1 210 101 95 56
 1 west of Bryans Store Rd.