American Sweetgum, Red Gum, White Gum, Star-leaved Gum, Alligator Tree, Bilsted, Satin Walnut
American Sweetgum is a widely distributed large deciduous tree native to the Southeastern USA. It has an attractive narrowly pyramidal form in youth becoming a more oval crown with age. The five-lobed, nearly star-shaped, dark glossy green leaves turn wonderous combinations of yellow, orange, red, and purple in autumn. Woody satellite-like capsules are a maintenance liability.
Plant Habit or Use:
Tree, medium tree, large tree
Green, not ornamental
Spherical woody capsule with dehiscent pointed protuberances.
40 ft to 60 ft in landscapes, double this in the wild
20 ft to 30 ft
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown
- Heat Tolerance: Low Heat Tolerance
- Water Requirements: High Water Use
- Soil Requirements: Medium Soil Requirements
- Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
- Fertility Requirements: Medium Fertility Requirements
USDA Hardiness Zones:
6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains• Region B - North and Central Texas• Region C - Northeast and East Texas• Region D - West Texas• Region E - Upper Rio Grande• Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast• Region G - Southeast Texas• Region H - Rio Grande Valley
The woody capsules are a maintenance liability. Trees are prone to iron chlorosis on neutral to alkaline soils.