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Liquidambar - sweet gum

Quick Overview

Showy feature tree for large gardens. Autumn leaves display in spectacular red, yellow and purple shades before falling for winter. Create a shady spot in the garden for summer and allow the sunlight in during winter.

Tree image: Forest & Kim Starr [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons, cropped to size.
Foliage image: CC BY-SA 3.0,, cropped to size.

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Liquidambar styraciflua - sweet gum
DESCRIPTION: Deciduous tree native to North America features a vibrant display of red, gold and purple during autumn before leaf drop through winter. Leaves are lobe shaped, similar to maple. Tall and fast growing, ideal for large gardens.
USES: Excellent for screening or as a specimen tree. Create a shady spot for summer and allow the sunlight in during winter.
CARE: Stake and protect from strong wind and frost while young. Frost hardy once established. No need to prune allow the tree to develop it's natural conical shape.
PLANTING: Plant in well drained soil in full sun. Apply mulch and continue to water regularly until the plant is established. Usually around 12 weeks. Fertilise using a slow release fertiliser yearly in spring. This tree needs plenty of space for root development, avoid planting near paths and pipes. Suited to planting as far south as Tasmania Queensland's north. Prefers rich soil
HEIGHT & WIDTH: Up to 15-20 m H x 8-12 m W.
PLEASE NOTE: These are tube-stock plants, with the benefit of being a young plant they will establish quickly in your garden. The average size of your plants will be 15 -25 cm in height including the pot height of 80 mm x 42 mm wide.

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