Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Slender Silhouette’ – Slender Silhouette Sweetgum

Botanical Name: Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Slender Silhouette’

The Slender Silhouette Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Slender silhouette’) is a columnar shaped cultivar of the Sweetgum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua). The Sweetgum originates in the eastern United States, Mexico, and Central America. This variety was discovered by Don Shadow of Shadow Nursery when he found a 60 foot tall, 3 foot wide Sweetgum growing near a railroad track.

Slender Silhouette Sweetgum is a remarkably useful tree for urban landscapes. It can be planted as a screening tree, a foundation tree, or a vertical accent for mixed borders. It is a medium sized deciduous tree that grows to a height of 50-60 feet and a width of 3-8 feet.

The leaves of the Slender Silhouette Sweetgum are palmate and star-shaped, with 5 or 7 lobes. The foliage is a glossy dark green. In the fall, the tree puts on a brilliant, multi-colored display of orange, red, and burgundy.

The flowers of the Slender Silhouette Sweetgum emerge in May or June. They are yellowish-green in color and inconspicuous.

The texture of the tree is fairly coarse with dark gray bark that develops deep furrows as it matures. This cultivar of this Sweetgum tree does not produce as much fruit as the species or other cultivars. The fruit that does develop in the fall drops only within the width of its very narrow canopy. The 1-2 inch, spiky, round seed balls it produces are attractive to wildlife.

The Slender Silhouette Sweetgum prefers full sun locations. It is deer tolerant and resistant to verticillium wilt.


Height: 50-60 ft.
Width: 3-8 ft.
Shape: Columnar and Low Branching
Flower Color: Yellow, Green
Flowering Time: May-June
Fall Color: Red, Purple, Yellow, Orange
Features: Outstanding fall color, beautiful silhouette, narrow tree
Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade
Watering: Moderate & Regular
Soil: Prefers rich, acidic, moist, well-drained loam soil. Tolerates wet soils and a range of soil types including clay.
Growth Rate: Fast
USDA Zones: 5-8
Uses: Screening tree, accent tree, foundation tree
Similar Trees: Moraine Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Moraine’)

Additional information


Columnar, Low Branching

Flower Color

Green, Yellow

Flowering Time

June, May

Fall Color

Orange, Purple, Red, Yellow

Growth Rate



Accent Tree, Foundatin Tree, Screening Tree

USDA Zones

5, 6, 7, 8

Mature Height


Mature Width

4'-6', 6'-8'


Full Sun, Partial Shade

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