What is a sweet gum tree good for?

Sweetgum wood is used to make veneer, plywood, cabinets and furniture. The gum from these trees has been used as chewing gum and even employed to concoct medicines and salves to cure a variety of ailments, treat wounds and serve as an important ingredient in adhesives.

Is sweet gum tree poisonous?

Sweet gum trees bloom with inconspicuous, yellowish-green flowers in the spring that turn to seedpods — which are often called gumballs — in the fall. The tree is not toxic to dogs and cats, but the seedpods do present a different type of health threat if your pet were to step on one.

Is sweet gum invasive?

Sweetgum trees are considered pioneer trees. These are trees that can become invasive in an area because they take root easily from seeds and grow quickly, often excluding all other plants in the area. It’s best to plant them in maintained areas where you’ll be cleaning up the seed pods.

How fast do sweet gum trees grow?

Growth Rate This tree grows at a medium to fast rate, with height increases of anywhere from 13″ to more than 24″ per year.

Can you eat sweet gum fruit?

Are sweetgum tree balls edible? While they’re not edible, the balls can double as spiky mulch to keep animals away from young plants. You can even get creative and use them to make holiday trinkets or decorative balls for bowls.

Are sweet gum trees worth anything?

Sweetgum is a relatively hard, uniform grained wood previously used for furniture and plywood. It tends to warp and stain easily. It is low valued and currently rarely used, except for industrial blocking and pallets.

Are sweet gum balls good for anything?

Air and water easily pass through their hollow structure, and their spikey surface can even help deter slugs and other animals. With a slow decomposition rate, sweet gum balls provide long-lasting ground cover, blocking out sun and preventing weed germination.

Should I plant a sweetgum tree?

It is recommended to plant sweetgum in fall to allow for root development before winter. You may also plant container-bought sweetgum in spring. Note that the size of sweetgum trees is very variable, and ranges from 25 to 115 feet (8 to 35 m) depending on the variety and the growing conditions.

Do squirrels eat sweet gum balls?

Sweet gum balls start out plump and green, but they dry as they mature. The spines become even spinier, and holes open up to reveal seeds inside the balls. These seeds are food for about 25 species of birds, chipmunks and squirrels, says Texas Parks and Wildlife.

What can I do with sweet gum balls?

If you’re up for some experimenting, sweet gum balls can be used to make a tea from boiling the young green seeds. The resulting decoction is known for its antiviral properties and can be used as a preventative measure against sickness, or as a remedy for the flu (consult your doctor if symptoms persist).

Do sweetgum trees have any value?