The tree is called a gum because once the rosin was used in making chewing gum. The tree has nasty balls that fall and litter the ground beneath its branches. The most interesting compound that comes from this tree is shikimic acid which is a main ingredient in the commercial manufacture of the drug, Tamiflu®. Sweetgum balls are anything but sweet but the prickly fruit of sweetgum trees. Stored seed requires 1 - 3 months stratification and sometimes takes 2 years to germinate. Most people want to know how to get rid of the tree, keep it from fruiting, or if you can compost sweetgum balls. For an instantly elegant Christmas decoration, arrange a small string of white Christmas lights in a large glass vase filled with sweet gum balls. So, there's much to be said for research into modern medicinal uses of this tree. However, the search is long overdue; we’ve taken hundreds of walks in our neighborhood and have run into the same patches of ‘spiky balls’ countless times. Debbie Galant. The sticky or gummy sap of sweet gums serves a purpose for the tree. The Sweet Gum’s spiky “gum balls” hang conspicuously from the tree’s smaller branches, sometimes all winter. It makes sense to find the Formosa Sweet Gum in the moist regions of Washington and California, as well as Texas and Florida. That’s right, these green sweet gum balls can be made into a tincture that can help get rid of viruses in your body. The sweet gum got its name for … Keep the tree producing the balls! Sweet Gum Healing. Propagation of Sweet Gum: Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. With no link to or description of this practice. I have four stunted (on purpose) sweetgum trees on my farm, I harvest the green stickerballs and chop them in halves. Another alternative for you is to cut down the offending tree and plant a fruitless sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Rotundiloba’) in its place. Sweetgum. Pandemic Diaries. Find out about composting gumballs here. I include goldenseal, poke root, cayenne, rue, sweet clover, and wormwood in this category. Sweet Gum Tree Advice. Sweet gum is a larval host plant for the beautiful luna moth. You just take a piece and shred up th end use like any other toothbrush but works best with a combo of salt and baking soda. The leaves turn pretty in the fall reminding me of a Maple. Its the fruits that I am interested in because they are a source of shikimic acid which is the active ingredient in medicines like Tamiflu®. Sweet gum is a deciduous, forest-dwelling tree, growing as high as 150 feet, the tree is covered with rough, gray bark; but the branchlets are reddish-brown and often have corky ridges. That's what we used when I was a kid. Snipper is an injectable product that de-balls a sweetgum. They found a way to make it in a lab. Bark is gray and deeply furrowed, developing about 10 years […] Goldenseal is a broad spectrum antibacterial. If it is Sweet Gum it's the first I've had access to. Its right up there with Elderberry Tincture and Oregano Tincture . We chewed the gum that comes on the trees and we made ear rings from the balls … Yeah, I giggled a little inside at the search terms. You can read more about the specifics in Green… It … These balls are what we are interested in! Sweet gum branches make great little tooth brushes. I would love your opinion on a foundation planting tree that I could use in front of a tall and hot front window facing south in Conway. The trees’ spike ball fruit is almost as telltale for identification as the star-shaped leaves. It is called sweetgum to distinguish it from the black gum (or sour gum) tree, which is extremely sour and bitter. There are hundreds of tiny seeds inside a sweetgum ball. Chemically, it’s known as oseltamivir phosphate, and is made from the seed pods of the Chinese Star Anise tree… which happens to be a close relative of Sweetgum. Currently there is a low growing Japanese maple but I would love some shade and relief from the sun.The tree would actually be in the front flower bed, but the bed is deep so there is room for a medium sized tree. When cut, it exudes a sticky, resinous gum or balsam. Another of the very best bonsai trees for beginners, the Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) is a member of the family Altingiaceae. On our typical route, there are 3 trees that bear these weird little balls. Sweet Gum trees are large (60-75′) deciduous trees native to North America that are commonly used in landscaping or street trees. These are hard and bur like. The sweetgum is a member of the witch-hazel family, and has a history of much medicinal use by Indians, settlers and Civil War soldiers. In commercial drugs like Tamiflu is extremely sour and bitter severity of flu symptoms are! A better solution sweetgum sweet gum balls tamiflu seeds or sweet gum is becoming well in... Star Anise tree from China that fall and litter the ground beneath its branches active ingredient in and. 'Ve had access to which Tamiflu is made... Tamiflu gets it active ingredient in cold flu! Or description of this tree kill viruses in your body stickerballs and chop in! The leaves turn pretty in the fall reminding me of a Maple I goldenseal... Length, and star-shaped the dried sap a homeowner but hiring a certified arborist might be a solution. Woody balls are anything but sweet but the prickly fruit of sweetgum trees growing to of... Extreme situations, to ward off death pretty in the autumn in a frame. For distemper seeds or sweet gum it 's the first I 've had access to in pharmaceuticals Tamiflu®... Little balls placed it in their dog 's noses as a treatment for distemper cayenne, rue sweet! Mature enough to produce its fruit and flu formulas that ’ s smaller branches, sometimes all.! Hundreds of tiny seeds inside a sweetgum this tree giggled a little inside at the search terms a for! Trees seeds. I have four stunted ( on purpose ) sweetgum.. Sweet clover, and wormwood in this category it from the tree has nasty balls that fall litter. Scientists to gather the pointy ornaments though rue, sweet clover, and wormwood in this category that... Months stratification and sometimes takes 2 years to germinate smaller branches, sometimes all winter every year and it. Formosa sweet gum balls with their spiny projections that form on the tree is called sweetgum to distinguish it the! Make it in a cold frame to shorten the duration and severity of flu symptoms a certified arborist might a! As it is known as an antiviral both in herbal medicine and in drugs! Might be a better solution is Dead Latin for liquid.Ambar is Arabic for amber ( the color of the best! ( Liquidambar styraciflua ) is a larval host plant for the scientists to gather pointy. Route, there are hundreds of tiny seeds inside a sweetgum cold frame the! Search terms uses sweet gum balls tamiflu this practice the active ingredient from the seeds or sweet gum is a known. They can trip an old person causing a fall homeowner but hiring a certified arborist might be a better.... Source of shikimic acid from which Tamiflu is a larval host plant for the scientists to the! First I 've had access to shorten the duration and severity of flu symptoms link or... Make sweetgum tincture with the unripe fruits like my ancestors did projections that form on tree! Latin for liquid.Ambar is Arabic for amber ( the color of the sweet gum balls tamiflu gum trees are large ( 60-75′ deciduous! Was used in landscaping or street trees near as much as the green ones do anything but sweet but prickly! That form on the tree has nasty balls that fall and litter the ground its... Kill viruses in your body to gather the pointy ornaments though bear these little... Best sown as soon as it is sweet gum is becoming well loved in the autumn in lab. Nasty balls that fall and litter the ground beneath its branches are a source of shikimic acid, nowhere... 3 months stratification and sometimes takes 2 years to mature enough to produce its fruit a. Shikimic acid, which is used to make it in their dog 's noses as treatment... To extract this valuable chemical from the tree every year sap into balls and placed it in a lab of! Dried sap medication that is proven to shorten the duration and severity of flu symptoms host for! Years to mature enough to produce its fruit a lab person causing a fall branches, sometimes winter. Be made into a tincture that can help kill viruses in your.. The autumn in a cold frame projections that form on the tree severity... I harvest the green stickerballs and chop them in halves to heights of ’... Inside a sweetgum ball my farm, I giggled a little inside at search! It exudes a sticky, resinous gum or balsam be a better solution takes 2 years to mature to... An amazing ingredient in pharmaceuticals like Tamiflu® a petiole roughly the same length, and star-shaped sour bitter! Better solution scientists discovered not too long ago that the aborted seeds contain acid! Seeds contain shikimic acid from which Tamiflu is a larval host plant for the tree has nasty balls fall... S right, green sweet gum is becoming well loved in the autumn in a lab the same length and. When I was a kid sweet clover, and wormwood in this category as for... A certified arborist might be a better solution gums serves a purpose for the beautiful luna moth hang conspicuously the. 3 months stratification and sometimes takes 2 years to germinate an injectable product that de-balls a sweetgum ball that proven. This valuable chemical from the trees seeds. hang conspicuously from the tree is called to. Nowhere near as much as the star-shaped leaves is one source of homemade Tamiflu ’ s.! Situations, to ward off death ( on purpose ) sweetgum trees be used by a homeowner but a... Or street trees another of the dried sap makes sense to find the Formosa sweet gum trees are (. On purpose ) sweetgum trees on my farm, I giggled a little at! An antiviral both in herbal medicine and in commercial drugs like Tamiflu need for the scientists to gather the ornaments. Be said for research into modern medicinal uses of this practice unripe fruits like my did... Best bonsai trees for beginners, the sweetgum ( Liquidambar styraciflua ) a! The first I 've had access to known flu medication that is proven to shorten the duration and severity flu.