Liquidambar styraciflua – the Sweetgum

Liquidambar styraciflua, more often known as the Sweetgum, is part of the Hamamelidaceae family that’s currently providing fantastic autumn colour at the moment near the tennis courts in the Parks. This wonderful Liquidamber has alternate maple-like leaves which take on brilliant and long-lasting colours as the growing season draws to an end. This is a medium sized deciduous tree that grows to around 10-15 metres tall and 5-10 metres across. This means that although easy to grow, it is not for the small garden. It likes a sunny position with a little shelter and moist but well-drained soil – Liquidambars were originally found growing around the edges of swampy regions in the eastern USA. They need little pruning and naturally take on an attractive pyramid shape; they don’t usually suffer from pests or diseases but should be well-supported while they get established. Propagate from semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer or early autumn. To find out more, see the RHS website.

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