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Sweetgum - One of the 100 Most Common North American Trees


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Description and Identification of Sweetgum
Sweetgum - One of the 100 Most Common North American Trees
Common Names: sweetgum, redgum, star-leaved gum, alligator-wood, and gumtree

Habitat: Sweetgum grows in moist soils of valleys and lower sloped areas. This tree may also be found in mixed woodlands. Sweetgum is a pioneer species, often found after an area has been logged or clearcut and one of the most common tree species in the Eastern United States.

Description: The star-like leaf has 5 or 7 lobes or points and turns from green in summer to yellow or purple in Autumn. This leaf is borne on corky-winged limbs and the bark is gray-brown, deeply furrowed with narrow ridges. The fruit is a conspicuous spiked ball that hangs in clusters.

Uses: flooring, furniture, veneers, home interiors, and other lumber applications. The wood is also used as paper pulp and to make baskets.

Sweetgum Photos - ForestryImages.Org
Identify a Sweetgum - Virginia Tech Dendrology

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