[gardeners] A primer on sweetgum trees

George Shirley (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Mon, 16 Sep 2002 10:04:05 -0500

1. The wood is no good for firewood as it can't be split, the grain is
not straight.
2. A sweetgum ball going through a side discharge lawnmower is moving at
750 rpm when it exits and can travel 50 feet before it a)breaks a
window, b)bruises the neighbor.
3. They are one of the few trees in SW Louisiana that the leaves
actually turn color in the fall. The other two are the tallow tree and
the soft maple, all are useless.
4. You can hardly kill a sweetgum tree short of a nuclear detonation.
Salt doesn't work, ringing the bark doesn't work. You can cut them down
and they will arise from the roots to haunt you.
5. They make nice shade trees but you can never walk barefoot on your
lawn again (sweetgum balls hurt when stepped on).
6. My neighbor loves sweetgum and magnolia trees, both of which hang
over my yard and drop their unwanted sweetgum balls and magnolia seed
pods everywhere.
7. My neighbor is going away for a month and their trees may
mysteriously die while they are gone. <BSEG>