Slender Silhouette Sweetgum - Cherrylake

Slender Silhouette Sweetgum

Liquidambar styraciflua

Slender Silhouette Sweetgum is a captivating cultivar of the American Sweetgum tree, prized for its distinctive growth habit and stunning seasonal transformations. It is native to the southeastern United States, and can be found in northwestern and central Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. This tree is celebrated for its tall, narrow, and columnar form, which sets it apart from its broader-growing relatives. During the growing season, its foliage is a deep green, serving as an elegant backdrop. However, the real spectacle comes in the fall when its star-shaped leaves transition into a breathtaking array of orange, red, and purple hues, making it a standout feature in any landscape.

Well-suited for a variety of soil types, including clay, loam, and sand, Slender Silhouette Sweetgum thrives in a range of lighting conditions, from full sun to partial shade. With its slender profile, it is an ideal choice for areas with limited space, such as urban gardens or narrow yards.

Pruning for the Slender Silhouette Sweetgum is typically minimal, primarily aimed at removing any dead or damaged branches. Ensuring adequate watering during its establishment phase helps promote healthy growth. One consideration is that the tree produces distinctive spiky fruit capsules, often called “gumballs,” which can be somewhat messy and may require regular cleanup. The Slender Silhouette Sweetgum’s unique growth habit and stunning fall foliage make it a sought-after choice for those looking to add height and beauty to their outdoor spaces.

Slender Silhouette on the farm

Ornamental Characteristics:

Native Origin:
Eastern half of U.S., south of New England into Central America

Common Names:

Hardy Range: 5 – 9
Mature Height: 5 – 60’
Mature Spread: 5 – 6’
Growth Rate: fast
Form: columnar
Persistence: deciduous

Ornamental Characteristics:
The sweet gum tree boasts a sizable stature,
featuring a lengthy, cylindrical trunk, a pyramidal
crown, and branches and twigs adorned with
corky wings. Its leaves are arranged alternately,
displaying a simple, star-shaped design
characterized by 5 (occasionally 7) distinct lobes
that span a range of 3 to 6 inches in width. These
lobes are deeply incised, sporting toothed
margins and prominently pointed tips, emitting a
faint aromatic scent when bruised.

Soil: moist but well-drained
Salt: moderate
Exposure: full sun

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Slender Silhouette in the landscape
Slender Silhouette leaves
Slender Silhouette fruit capsules