Liquidambar styraciflua Sweetgum

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I got this Sweetgum at my sisters home where there was 13 or more growing in her flower bed from the seed that fell from an 80 years or older tree.Happy Day !! there about 2-4 year seedlings.has anyone had any experience with this type of tree?was thinking on trying to make a group plantingsweet gum 1.jpgsweet gum 2.jpg
 

Vance Wood

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I got this Sweetgum at my sisters home where there was 13 or more growing in her flower bed from the seed that fell from an 80 years or older tree.Happy Day !! there about 2-4 year seedlings.has anyone had any experience with this type of tree?was thinking on trying to make a group plantingView attachment 18899View attachment 18900

Certainly worth an effort considering the price you paid for the material. I know of no example of bonsai using this tree. I am fairly certain that the leaves do not reduce well under bonsai culture which means you will have to grow a fairly large bonsai to give the leaf size credibility with the over-all size of the finished bonsai. The real positive side is the fall colors are among some of the most spectacular of native trees making it worth the effort to at least control. The end tree does not have to be a masterpiece to make the tree a valuable member of a collection, and the fall color may just justify the effort to get it there.
 

Jason

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If you google Sweetgum bonsai there are some example pics. Overall the consensus is they have long internodes and course growth. That said...i'd give it a go. They are beautiful trees. What do you have to lose? (besides time). Let me know how they work. I've always wanted to give them a try.
 
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Yes the fall colors are amazing.i only saw one example on the web and i read that the leaf size and the internode spacing can be reduced by diligent pinching, multiple defoliations, and by disbudding in the spring.All i got is time so ill give them a go and see what happens
 

bonsai barry

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I have seen a couple of bonsai that were pretty good. One had a hollowed out trunk that was intersting. Both had good sized trunks, so I suspect they were quite a bit older than the one in your post.
 

Ang3lfir3

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I purchased a large sweet gum this year at the local bonsai auction. The previous owners had it as bonsai for about a decade. The trunk size on this particular tree is about 6" in Diameter. The below photo was taken just a few days ago.



Hope you enjoy it. The colors are amazing.

P.S. Yes its getting a new pot next spring.... All newly acquired trees are given a year in the garden to acclimate before _any_ work is done.
 

jk_lewis

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That looks like the Chinese (Oriental) sweetgum, not the American tree. Beautiful fall color.

I used to have a sweetgum, but it didn't like the move up here from Florida. It was starting to be a half decent tree:
 

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will0911

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hey if you go to youtube and type in chasnx and look at his uploads he has a video named liquidambar and he goes through some basic things with it which might help....
 

Ang3lfir3

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That looks like the Chinese (Oriental) sweetgum, not the American tree.
after doing a little more research you are correct mine is an Oriental sweetgum (Liquidambar orientalis) .... thanks :) actually wasn't aware of the differences...

so to answer the the OP ... guess I haven't seen this particular sweetgum before I usually only see the Oriental variety... of which I have seen several examples
 

rockm

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As Jim pointed out the pics above are of the Asian (or Turkish) variety of sweetgum --Liquidamber orientalis.

The sweetgum native to the American sweetgum Liquidamber Styraciflua can be made into bonsai quite well, but it does tend to be kind of gawky in ramification and habit. Vaughn Banting donated an excellent example of one to the National Arboretum:
http://www.bonsai-nbf.org/site/exh-autumn_arts.html
Seventh image down. The tree is large, well over three feet high.
You can also find images of the same tree here:
http://www.vlbanting.com/nationalbonsaimusem.htm
 
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Thank you all for the response.The pic of the Vaugh Banting donated tree has me excited about the possibilities of mine.Ill just grow them out chop and grow and see where it leads me.i really like the leaf shape and the wonderfull fall color
 

painter

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i had a decent one that kept shedding all the branches in winter. its fall color was nice tho.
i finally ditched it this year. it was borderline on my zone tho.
 

daygan

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sorry, posted in wrong thread (and can't delete this post)
 
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augustine

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I saw the sweetgum in the National Collection last August. I was surprised and impressed that the leaves were, relatively speaking, very small. Tree was gorgeous.

Augustine

Central, MD - 7a
 

augustine

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I suggest you try a sweetgum if a good sized thick trunk specimen can be found. A mature tree will have great bark and the fall colors are superb.

One of my fellow club members has an excellent sweetgum bonsai and another guy has a couple of good ones.

Remember, you need to start with a substantial trunk.
 

Giga

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I have a very large amaerican sweetgum and they have amazing fall color, just grow it out and have fun with the species as they are super tough
 
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I've tried, Lord knows I've tried... Collecting them has never worked out for me. The tap root is relentless and long and I can never get viable roots close enough to the trunk to make a go of things. There are some good ones out in the woods though. My teacher, Rodney Clemons, has a nice American Sweetgum with reduced leaves and short internodes called The Mermaid... FWIW
 

Giga

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I've tried, Lord knows I've tried... Collecting them has never worked out for me. The tap root is relentless and long and I can never get viable roots close enough to the trunk to make a go of things. There are some good ones out in the woods though. My teacher, Rodney Clemons, has a nice American Sweetgum with reduced leaves and short internodes called The Mermaid... FWIW

The one I collected I just cut around it cut he tap root and put it in my growing bed - I was pretty harsh and it came through fine!
 

c54fun

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I got this Sweetgum at my sisters home where there was 13 or more growing in her flower bed from the seed that fell from an 80 years or older tree.Happy Day !! there about 2-4 year seedlings.has anyone had any experience with this type of tree?was thinking on trying to make a group plantingView attachment 18899View attachment 18900

I know one thing for sure. If you let the pot get to hot it will burn the roots and cause massive burnt black spots on the leaves. This happened this past summer.
s-l1600 (17).jpg
20160701_162911.jpg
 

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