Medium to Fast
Acidic, Clay, Drought, Loamy, Moist, Sandy, Well Drained, Wet
American sweetgum seeds are eaten by eastern goldfinches, purple finches, sparrows, mourning doves, northern bobwhites and wild turkeys. Small mammals such as chipmunks, red squirrels and gray squirrels also enjoy the fruits and seeds.
The Sweetgum tree is native to the southeastern United States and a member of a genus made up of only six species. The others are found only in Asia. The first historical reference to the tree comes from the author and soldier, Don Bernal Diaz del Castillo, who accompanied Cortez in 1519 and was a witness to ceremonies between Cortez and Montezuma, who both partook of a liquid amber extracted from a sweetgum tree. The tree itself was first noticed and recorded by the historian Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca in 1542. Once commercially popular for soaps, adhesives and pharmaceuticals, today its wood is valuable for fine furniture and interior finishing.