Should I Cut Down My Sweet Gum Tree (Explained)

If you are wondering: Should I cut down my sweet gum tree?, we will help you find the answers. This article will present the essential characteristics of the lovely gum tree, its lifespan, cultivation, and maintenance. We will also explain the main reasons people decide to grow this tree or the motives against it. In the end, we will also try to answer the most common questions related to sweet gum trees.

All About Sweet Gum Tree


The sweetgum tree (lat. Liquidambar styraciflua) is a deciduous plant native to North America. It also grows in Mexico and Central America. It is most often used in horticulture. Its five-pointed star most easily recognizes the sweet gum tree leaves resembling a maple leaf and round, hard, prickly fruits. It grows even to 150 feet in height, and in Europe up to 80 feet in height.

sweet gum tree care


The wood is hard and high quality and is used to make furniture. The resin was used to make chewing gum in the past. The resin secreted by the wood has also been used for therapeutic purposes. The resin of this tree can be colorless, reddish, or yellow and exudes a pleasant odor. It was also considered an excellent balm, sedative, and tonic and was also used to treat sciatica, weak nerves, and other ailments.

Mixed with tobacco, people once used it for smoking. This resin has long been used in France as an integral part of perfumes. Several species of this tree from the same family have a broad cultivation application. The most commonly used species are grown for their decorative properties and species that provide quality wood for the manufacture of various furniture.

How To Grow Sweet Gum Tree

Sweet gums are modest trees to grow. They do not seek any special conditions for their growth and development. They are most often grown in gardens, as well as city promenades, to decorate the ambiance.


This plant has modest heat requirements. Its growth and development require moderate heat, which is usually found in Zones 6-10. It originates from the eastern and north US. It is best suited to completely sunny places or slightly shade places. The best time to plant the seeding or young tree is spring or autumn.


Sweetgum tree does not have high demands on the water either. It requires moderate humidity for its growth. In the initial stages of development during planting, it is necessary to maintain humidity, until the plant forms a robust root system. During the vegetative growth phase, ordinary rainwater can take over your business. If prolonged droughts occur, we can help the plant to live by watering it.


Sweet gum tree thrives on almost all soils, from sandy to clay and loamy. The ground ranges from acidic to alkaline reactions in terms of pH reaction. It thrives best and achieves the best results on deep, loose soils rich in humus. Soils that are slightly acidic to a neutral pH reaction.


In terms of care during the growing season, Sweetgum has very modest requirements. Suppose we want our plants to grow quickly and healthily. In that case, it is recommended to fertilize with organic fertilizers every or every second or third year, depending on the amount of manure. It achieves good results when supplementing with mineral fertilizers during growth.

It is recommended to use phosphorus fertilizers in the rooting phase, nitrogen fertilizers during growth, and potassium during the flowering and bud formation phase. Since this is a modest plant, our trees will continue to grow only slightly slower if we do not do any of the above. The only job during the growing season is to grab up fallen leaves.

Growing Sweet Gum Tree Pros and Cons

sweet gum tree losing leaves

Although at first, this beautiful tree looks irreplaceable, there are some negative qualities that people do not want in their garden. Here are the pros and cons to the sweet gum tree growing and maintenance:


  • Manufacture of wood for processing
  • Production of sweet gum tree resin
  • Ornamental trees with beautiful leaves
  • They create shade
  • It does not require special attention


  • Creates shallow roots that can damage property near the plant, such as fences, roads, etc.
  • Since it is a plant that produces many leaves, a lot of raking of those leaves awaits us in the fall.
  • Too big trees can be a danger to the house’s roof or some cables such as electric wires.
  • Creates spiky balls that can hurt children.

Should I Cut Down My Sweet Gum Tree

should i cut down my sweet gum tree

Answering the question should I cut down my sweet gum tree is not easy. This question seeks an answer in the fact of whether you enjoy these trees. Namely, we have explained all the characteristics of these plants, and we can conclude that there are many positive and negative aspects of growing this culture.

If you produce these plants to use the wood pulp, of course, you will not want to cut them. If these trees adorn your gardens and do not threaten their roots or the above-ground part of the yard, keep them. If Sweet gum trees endanger your fences, sidewalks, and other propery, it may be best to cut them down. Remember that these trees produce round balls that, in some cases, can be dangerous to humans if you slip on them or fall on them.

In any case, the choice is yours. You can judge whether the Sweet gum tree is a danger or adorns your house and garden


Q: Do sweetgum trees have deep roots?

A: The sweetgum tree has a primary root that penetrates deep into the soil and creates a strong foundation for this plant. On the other hand, just below the surface of the soil around the tree, the plant makes shallower roots, which can sometimes cause many problems. Namely, small roots can cause damage to the yard or nearby buildings. It is recommended to plant this plant 10 feet away from other objects.

Q: Is a gum tree good for anything?

A: Of course, the usability of this tree is widely distributed. The tree of this plant is used for making furniture, heating in the wood industry. The resin is used for various therapeutic applications. It is grown mainly because of its decorative properties.

Q: How long does a sweet gum tree live?

A: Sweet gum tree is one of the long-lived trees. Depending on the region and the growing climate, it can reach different heights, reaching up to 150 feet. The plant can live up to 150 years, according to some growers.

Q: Is sweet gum invasive?

A: Sweet gum is a type of tree that is competitive with its neighbors. Namely, there should be no other plants where these trees grow. The plant produces seeds that fall to the ground, and in ideal conditions, a new plant can develop. In practice, self-reproduction is very difficult because various animals collect these pods and thus prevent the creation of new plants. In any case, we cannot say that it is an invasive species.


After reading the article should I cut down my sweet gum tree you could learn the essential characteristics. We have tried to present to you the life cycle of this plant and the many reasons for and against the cultivation of this plant.

We hope you found the necessary information you needed to understand the life of this plant and its main characteristics. In the end, it is up to you to decide if you want to keep these trees because of their positive sides, or maybe it bothers you for many reasons, and you choose to support them.


Liquidambar styraciflua (American Sweet Gum, Redgum, Red Sweet Gum, Sweetgum, Sweet Gum, Sweetgum Tree) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox

American Sweetgum Tree on the Tree Guide at

2 thoughts on “Should I Cut Down My Sweet Gum Tree (Explained)”

  1. This was a wonderful article and as a lover of he sweetgum tree, I found it very accurate. The only thing I would say is that in the cons section it says many leaves to rake and in this day in age we should not be raking our leaves we should “leave” then where they lie or take them around the tree so that the nutrients can feed the tree for the next season. This is what leaves are for. Also they provide a home for insects and other wildlife which in turn provides food for birds and other small mammals. As bloggers we need to be more environmentally aware and let people know that this earth is not ours it’s every living things home too and we need to give back some of what we’ve taken away. Thank you! ????

    • Thank you so much for leaving a comment on this post. Your comments are amazing and we greatly appreciate it. Yes, this earth is not only ours but also the home of animals and plants. I really love everything and will try to convey more positive messages to everyone. One more time thank you very much!


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