Sweet gum preference is nutrient-rich sandy, loamy soils, they are tolerant of flooding. Sweet gum will not grow in chalk soil.


Sweet gum needs full sun only. It requires warmth.

Annual Growth Rate

Sweet gum will grow 60-90cm when planted in moist, deep nutrient-rich loamy soil, otherwise 20-40cm will be the expected annual growth rate.


Sweet gum require soil with acidic to neutral pH not for calcareous, alkaline soils

Root Structure

Sweet gum has a far-reaching cordate shaped root system. Sweet gum is tolerant of long periods of ground flooding.


Sweet gum is an outstandingly beautiful, autumn leaf coloured tree. Only for sandy-loamy, nutrient-rich acidic to neutral soils.

Annual Pruning

Sweet gum should only be pruned to remove dead or damaged wood.


Every garden or street that has suitable soil should have a sweet gum tree, there are many varieties to choose from.

Back in the day, American Indians were the first to chew on the corky bark of the Sweet gum tree which excretes a sticky resin known as ‘liquid amber’.

This pleasant-smelling resin later became a raw material used for the making of chewing gum and the tree is still planted and used for this purpose today

Foliage is deciduous, maple-like shiny dark-green when they first appear in May. When crushed give off a strong amber scent.

In the autumn, the leaf colours become simply outstanding, sweet gum is one of the best autumn leaf colour trees on the planet. Depending on the weather temperature changes at the end of summer and into early autumn, the leaves of sweet gum can show intense changing shades that range from deep purple, yellow to orange to red scarlet and wine-red before they fall.

Sweet gum tree bark is dark grey, corky and deeply grooved on a straight, upright trunk. Crown shape is pyramidal when young, but later broad and ovoid. They make great avenue trees.

Inconspicuous yellowish-green flowers appear in April/May and appealing decorative, spiky balls hanging on long stems, like those of the London plane tree, persist well into the winter months.

Although there are many varieties, most sweet gum are medium sized trees reaching around 15 metres tall with a 4-8 metre spread. The small variety ‘Gum Ball’ is ideal for small gardens or for planting into small spaces in other gardens.

Price & Availability


Spring - Summer

Mature Tree


60-65cm girth 6.5m tall

70-75cm girth 7m tall

80-85cm girth 8m tall

90-100cm girth 10m tall

100+cm girth

Semi-Mature Tree


18-20cm girth 4m tall

25-30cm girth 4.5m tall

35-40cm girth 5m tall

45-50cm girth 5m tall

55-60cm girth 5.5m tall

Young Tree


10-12cm girth 2m tall

14-16cm girth 2.2m tall

16-18cm girth 2.5m tall

Speak to us

If you have any questions, or if you’d like to order; speak to our friendly team today!

Schedule a callEmail us
Other Trees


Taxus baccata

Wild Cherry

Prunus avium

Golden Weeping Willow

Salix ‘Chrysocoma’

Red Maple

Acer rubrum

Portuguese Laurel

Prunus lusitanica
See all trees