Liquidambar styraciflua 'THÉA'

Liquidambar styraciflua
Liquidambar styraciflua 'THÉA'
sweetgum
SIZE/TYPE medium-sized tree
USUAL HEIGHT 5-8m
USUAL WIDTH 2-3m
LEAVES deciduous broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES green
FLOWERS insignificant or non-blooming
COLOUR OF FLOWERS
BLOOMING TIME
LOCATION full sun
USDA zone (lowest) 5   (down to -29°C)
WINTER PROTECTION  
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
BELONGS TO CATEGORIES Deciduous broadleaf
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Sweetgums are highly ornamental trees or shrubs which have been on top of the popularity list for centuries. These come from North America from where they spread to nearly whole world: from colder parts of temperate regions to southern countries where summer temperatures easily reach 40°C. Their give-away are star-shaped leaves which can easily be mistaken for maple leaves, and their autumn colours.

Théa is an attractive variety of sweetgum selected for its autumn foliage colour and smaller size. Its leaves are large, typically 5-lobed, rich green, turning to long lasting shades of bright red and burgundy purple in autumn. The tree grows slowly or moderately into a narrowly pyramidal shape. Unlike other sweet gums this one can reach only some 8m tall when mature which makes it suitable for mid-sized gardens and narrow streets. If you wish to keep it smaller prune it at the end of winter.

Another nice feature is the fruit. Formed in about 3 cm wide spiny spheres they can be quite attractive to look at and a bit irritating when stepped on barefoot once they have hardened up, if not cleared from pavements or lawns in spring.

Sweet gums are soil tolerant but prefer semi-fertile, deep, and well-drained soil that should be slightly acidic to neutral and moist. Once established they can take both temporary flooding and drought. The location should be sunny as it does not tolerate shaded areas. If you buy a plant taller than say 1.5m stake it well for at least 2 years. Plants older than 3 years are fully hardy to -27°C (USDA zone 5).

Last update 25-02-2010
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Liquidambar styraciflua
Liquidambar styraciflua
Liquidambar styraciflua
GLOSSARY
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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