Liquidambar styraciflua (south-eastern North America)
Habit: Medium-size tree, only 15 m tall here, 4-8 m wide, initially slenderly conical with leader, later ovoid crown; main branches upright, lateral twigs horizontal or vertically rising, sometime overhanging; slow to medium/fast-growing; only 20-40 cm a year usually; fast-growing on moist, nutritious soil, 60-90 cm a year.
Twigs: Numerous cork strips from the second year on.
Fruits: Long-stem balls like planes, persistent long into winter.
Leaves: Like maple leaves, but alternate; late shoots, mid to end of May; fresh green to medium-green; fiery violet-brown, crimson-red to orange and yellow in many hues from September on.
Roots: Cordate; far-reaching, but with fleshy roots that have few branches, sensitive to soil compaction and dense soil volume; tolerate floods.
Demands: Only full sun, avoids shade; needs warmth, sensitive to frost when young, later usually frost hardy, of limited use in urban areas, tolerating urban climates to a limited extent.
Soil: Needs fresh to moist soil, also damp; only for acidic to neutral mineral substrates, sandy-loamy or loamy and nutritious, sensitive to salt.
In moist habitats purple autumn colour, moisture may lead to frost damages due to lack of lignification.
Note: The Redgum possesses the ability to regenerate and sprout from dormant buds after strong frosts. Spring planting recommended.
Hardiness: Zone 5b