Re: [gardeners] A primer on sweetgum trees

Harry Boswell (
Mon, 16 Sep 2002 10:42:35 -0500

----- Original Message -----
From: "George Shirley" <>
To: "Gardeners List" <>
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2002 10:04 AM
Subject: [gardeners] A primer on sweetgum trees

> 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
> 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
> 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
> mysteriously die while they are gone. <BSEG>

Except for item 4).

You are so right about those gum balls, I spent much time in
my childhood hopping around saying "Oww!  Oww!" because of
the sweet gum in our backyard!