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

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')

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