The Nursery is open Monday to Friday, for viewing and selection of our stock and pickup of pre-paid orders. We can offer some help and advice while on site, but if you have detailed plans or need in depth advice it is still best to email photos and plans beforehand. 

Sweet Gum LIQUIDAMBAR STYRACIFLUA LANE ROBERTS

Description & features

British Grown - The British Grown logo denotes plants and trees that have been both propagated and grown in the UK. Read more

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Bare root guide

Size and quantity

Photo
Size / Height
Price
Quantity
 
30L pot size / 2.4-3.5m
£180.00

All prices include VAT

All prices include VAT

All prices include VAT

All prices include VAT

British Grown - The British Grown logo denotes plants and trees that have been both propagated and grown in the UK. Read more

Product description

LIQUIDAMBAR STYRACIFLUA LANE ROBERTS – Sweet Gum

Characteristics

Often mistaken for a maple, the Sweet Gum has similarly-shaped five-lobed leaves. However, while the leaves on the maple are arranged in opposite pairs, those of the Liquidambar appear alternately. It is mainly grown for the autumn colour, the leaves turning brilliant shades of purple, crimson, orange and yellow, making it a popular ornamental tree.

This tree is another early introduction from the eastern States of America. It is often found in swampy regions. In these conditions it can grow as tall as 45m (150ft) but is often much shorter and rarely grows to half that height in Britain. 

The variety 'Lane Roberts' is produces a really good autumn display of deep reds, and doesn't grow so tall as the species, only reaching about 12m (40ft). Neither is the bark as fissured, but instead is quite smooth.

Where to grow

Liquidambar grows in moist fertile soils it prefers warm summers and a bit of protection to grow well. It is perfectly hardy in the UK, however when planted in windy spots the top branches can snap off. It is therefore best planted in a sheltered spot.

Did you know?

'Lane Roberts' is named for a doctor who had the accolade of delivering two babies who later became presidents of the Royal Horticultural Society.

 

Features

Mature height
Medium - 10-15 metres
Spread
5-10 metres
Shape / habit
Round Headed
Growth rate
Slow
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Difficulty / hard to grow
Medium
Evergreen / Deciduous
Deciduous
Season of interest
Autumn
Autumn colour
Orange
Purple
Red
Leaf
Green
Foliage
Dense
Large Leaves
Thorny?
No
Berries / fruit colour
Black
Uses
Garden Tree
City/Urban Sites

Features

Mature height
Medium - 10-15 metres
Spread
5-10 metres
Shape / habit
Round Headed
Growth rate
Slow
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Difficulty / hard to grow
Medium
Evergreen / Deciduous
Deciduous
Season of interest
Autumn
Autumn colour
Orange
Purple
Red
Leaf
Green
Foliage
Dense
Large Leaves
Thorny?
No
Berries / fruit colour
Black
Uses
Garden Tree
City/Urban Sites

Aftercare

Pruning Liquidambar Styraciflua Gum Ball

Liquidambar Styraciflua Gum Ball should have a naturally strong leader, and this makes the process of training easier. If a competing leader is growing remove it quickly, leaving it will affect the shape of the tree. Clear the stems a small amount to accommodate for the slightly pendulous branches, but it can be cleared up to a height of 5m.

What time of year should I prune? Prune from late autumn to early spring. This is when the tree is dormant.

 

For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.

Watering

The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.

Staking

If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.

Ties

Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.


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