Variegated Sweet Gum
Liquidambar styraciflua 'Variegata'
This low maintenance shade tree grows well in medium moist, well-drained, fertile soils in full sun. Not reliably winter hardy in northern areas.
Typically growing from 60-80’ tall, this shade tree features glossy, long-stalked green leaves and turns a brilliant mixture of yellow, orange, red, and purple hues in the fall. Colloquially know as sweet gum, the leaves are slightly fragrant when bruised.
No serious insect or disease problems. Rabbit and deer tolerant.
Must be planted in a large area with room to grow and would be an excellent lawn or park tree. Although it is noted as low maintenance, the flowers give way to the infamous bristly gum balls which mature to dark brown and remain on the tree through winter. It is advised to clean up in pedestrian areas because it could become a safety hazard.