Liquidambar styraciflua 'GOLD BEACON'

Liquidambar styraciflua
Liquidambar styraciflua 'GOLD BEACON'
sweetgum
SIZE/TYPE medium-sized tree
USUAL HEIGHT 8-15m
USUAL WIDTH 3-6m
LEAVES deciduous broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES +multicoloured:yellow a light 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. They come from North America and now can be found almost in the whole world: from colder parts of temperate regions to southern countries where summer temperatures regularly reach 40°C. Their give-away is star-shaped leaves which can easily be mistaken for maple leaves, and their autumn colours which are simply breathtaking.

Gold Beacon is a fantastic sweetgum selection with so called golden leaves which is an exaggerated name for bright yellow-green leaves that remain such for the entire growing season exactly like young twigs. The leaves are quite large – about 15 cm across, deeply lobed, and 100% resistant against sunscorch and fungi diseases. In autumn they change to deep garnet red and orange.

Its natural shape is pyramidal but can be clipped or trimmed in early spring to be kept smaller and in desired form. Once you give it a shape it does not usually go wild to spoil it for a long time. 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. And lastly the bark on older branches and trunk is also something worth mentioning – it is deeply furrowed and looks like cork and also sounds very similar when you touch it.

Sweet gums are soil tolerant but prefer semi-fertile, deep, evenly moist but well-drained soil that should be acidic or at least neutral. It will not thrive on chalk or lime. Once established they can take both temporary flooding and drought. The more acidic and moist soil you can provide (by adding peat and mulching the roots with bark) the better autumn colours can be expected. 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 minimum of 2 or rather 3 years. Plants older than 3 years are fully hardy to about -27°C (USDA zone 5).

Last update 20-05-2015
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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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