Native Sweet Gum Tree - Knowledgebase Question

Brick, NJ
Avatar for frogger514
Question by frogger514
August 18, 1999
I was wondering if you could help me. I am looking for a Sweet Gum Tree and I don't know where to find one in my town... I am doing over-the-summer-homework for biology and they want us to bring in a specimen. I don't exactly know where to look for one in the wild... could you please help?

Answer from NGA
August 18, 1999
Sweet gum trees (Liquidambar styraciflua) are native in many areas, but it could be like looking for a needle in a haystack. According to Micahel Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, the tree grows in the wild "as a bottomland species on rich moist alluvial soils but is found in a great variety of sites". You might have better luck checking street and lawn tree plantings where they are often used -- just look for a tree with spiky "gumballs" on it. Good luck!

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