Skip to Main Content Ray Howard Library Shoreline Community College

Tree Campus: Sweetgum

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b



Liquidambar styraciflua (ALTINGIACEAE)



E. North America, Mexico, C. America



"Sweetgum has moderate value as a winter browse. In the Oconee National Forest of Georgia, sweetgum was lightly to moderately browsed by white-tailed deer during the fall and winter. The seeds are eaten by birds, squirrels, and chipmunks.

Sweetgum snags are used as breeding sites for a variety of birds and mammals." [1]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"Medicinally, sweetgum is known as "copalm balsam" and the resinous gum is used extensively in Mexico and Europe as a substitute for storax. Various ointments and syrups are prepared from the resinous gum and are used in the treatment of dysentery and diarrhea. The gum is sometimes chewed by children, and it is also used as a perfuming agent in soap .

The beautiful red and yellow color variations of sweetgum's autumn foliage make it highly prized as an ornamental." [1]



"Sweetgum is primarily used for lumber, veneer, and plywood. The lumber is used to make boxes, crates, furniture, interior trim, and millwork. The veneer is used primarily for crates, baskets, and interior woodwork. Sweetgum is also used for crossties and fuel, and small amounts go into fencing, excelsior, and pulpwood." [1]



[1] Coladonato, Milo. 1992. Liquidambar styraciflua. In: Fire Effects Information System,. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available:

Privacy Statement
Search the Library Website