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Liquidambar, flamboyant in fall

liquidambar tree

Liquidambar is a magnificent tree, especially in fall, when it is draped in scintillating fiery colors like gold, fire red and amber.

List of Liquidambar facts

NameLiquidambar styraciflua
Type – tree

Height – 32 to 100 feet (10 to 30 meters)
Soil – ordinary

Hardiness: 5-10 – Exposure – sun – Foliage – deciduous

Also called sweetgum, it additionally is very easy to grow and it will quickly become one of the most beautiful trees in the garden.

Planting liquidambar

Liquidambar pruning, planting and careIt is recommended to plant your liquidambar in fall to allow for root development before winter.

You can also plant in spring those specimens that have been purchased in containers.

  • Favor a spacious place so that you may bring out the best in the marvelous silhouette of the liquidambar.
    Sun is almost mandatory for the amazing range of colors that it boasts to shine.
  • Liquidambar loves deep soil, but can still do fine in any type of soil, as long as it drains well.
  • A good layer of mulch about an inch (a couple centimeters) thick is wished for.

Pruning liquidambar

Red liquidambar leavesLiquidambar isn’t a tree you should prune, unless you haven’t any other choice.

  • Pruning isn’t recommended but possible
  • Eliminate dead, weak and damaged branches regularly when you notice them.

Watering liquidambar

During the first years of its life, liquidambar requires regular watering.

On top of the mulch that should help retain a good level of moisture, feel free to water in case of elevated temperatures.

Learn more about liquidambar

Uses of liquidambar for landscapingThere isn’t much more to say, except that liquidambar is an amazing tree in fall with its unique purple tones that will inflame your garden.

Native to North America, it is also known as the American storax or sweetgum.

Easy to care for, its clean, sharp leaves and autumn colors make it one of the most beautiful trees all year long.

Smart tip about liquidambar

Liquidambar seed podsGrowth is relatively slow. Adding fertilizer won’t speed it up, however, regular amendments that increase organic matter content, for instance those based on manure and/or seaweed, will actively support the proper growth of the tree.


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Joan Carles Juarez
IncREDible leaves by Andy Atzert under © CC BY 2.0
Bark and trunk by Frederick County Forestry Board under © CC BY 2.0
Liquidambar seed pods by Mark Bonica under © CC BY 2.0
Summer sweet gum by Melissa McMasters under © CC BY 2.0
Autumn Rain (also on social media) by Sean Hickin under © CC BY 2.0
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  • Paul Clifford wrote on 29 August 2022 at 19 h 32 min

    How deep should I plant a liquidamber tree? How far away from the house should I plant it, could the roots eventually damage the foundations of the house?