Sweetgum is native to the eastern United States, and is also planted in southwestern British Columbia.
It grows to a maximum height of 132 feet (40 metres) and has an estimated life span of 150 years.
The beautiful sweetgum leaves, with their palmately arranged veins, resemble the maple leaf. They have 5 to 7 long narrow lobes. In fall, they turn yellow or orange, a feature that enhances the ornamental value of the tree.
Its seeds are grouped in prickly aggregates on a long stalk. They remain on the tree during winter and are shed in the spring. The sweetgum reproduces through seed dispersion, but can also regenerate by layering or by sucker shoots.
The bark produces a resin called liquidambar balm that has important uses in medicine and perfumery.
This species grows on almost all soil types, but prefers mild climates.
Although its medium quality wood is used to make furniture, it is primarily used for landscaping purposes.
Leaves, palmately arranged, with deep pointed lobes.
Fruits, arranged in aggregates, remaining on the tree during winter.