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Liquidambar - Sweet Gum Trees

Liquidambar is an outstanding genus of trees which have a lot to offer any garden that has the space to plant them. The leaves are deeply lobed, often star-shaped, and come in a vast array of colours that suit any planting scheme. The common name of 'Sweet Gum' derives from the resin that exudes from the bark; the resin is technically known as storax and Americans enjoy chewing on the resin as chewing gum. The resin is also to make glue and in cosmetics like soap. This wood of this useful tree is made into furniture, baskets and paper pulp.

The trees grow to become a real focal point of the garden, and their Maple-like leaves and glowing autumn colours make them a real asset. Although Liquidambar trees are loved and admired by many, some countries do see them as a pest due to their conker-like seed pods that fall in the autumn. The seeds are harmless though, and can simply be gathered up and removed if they are causing too much of an inconvenience.

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