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Liquidambar styraciflua Lane Roberts


Sweet gum

Createws an impressive specimen

An elegant, large specimen tree with glossy, deep green leaves through the growing season. In autumn the leaves turn a rich crimson red - almost black, before falling to reveal a striking winter silhouette.


A beautiful tree to plant as a specimen in a lawn, as a focal point at the end of a path or near water where the graceful shape will be reflected. Happiest in sun or a partly shaded spot and soil which is not too dry.


Add well rotted manure or garden compost to the soil before planting and stake the tree whilst it is young to help the roots establish. Cut back long stems in summer if necessary to maintain the shape.

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Ornamental tree
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available February - September
Season of interest Autumn
Flowering March - May
Evergreen No
Plant height 1200 cm - 1500 cm
Plant width 500 cm - 900 cm
Fragrant flowers No
Hazardous Yes
Attracts bees No
Attracts butterflies No
Plant height in 5 years 400 cm
Medicinal Yes
Hardiness zone (?) H6

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Clay, Sand, Loam
Light exposure Full sun, Part shade
Soil drainage Well drained, Moist
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Position the stake in the hole, on the side of the prevailing wind and drive it into the soil, to a depth of 60cm. The stake should be a third of the height of the tree, when planted. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole close to the stake, with the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Use two tree ties to secure the stem to the stake. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year. Check ties regularly and adjust them as the tree grows.

Planting site Cottage garden, City garden, Courtyard garden, Coastal or drought resistant

Typically available

From February to September