Burgundy sweetgum is a rare variety prized for its richly coloured autumn leaves and corky furrowed bark. The leaves are typically sweetgum-lobed, star-shaped with 5 tips, deciduous, mid green in summer, and rich carmine and dark burgundy red in autumn. Coloured leaves remain on the tree for a considerable period of time. On well established plants they persist into December if the autumn is warm.The plant forms a large, pyramidal-shaped shrub unless trained into a tree form with a clean central leader. The growth rate is moderate in average conditions, or fast if pruned hard. Any pruning should be done from early to late winter in frost-free periods. Another nice feature is the fruit. Formed in about 3 cm wide spiny spheres they can be quite attractive to look at, and, unless cleared from pavements or lawns in spring, a bit irritating when stepped on barefoot once they have hardened up.
Sweet gums are quite soil adaptable 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 about 1.5m stake it well for minimum of 2 or 3 years. Plants older than 3 years are fully hardy to about -27°C (USDA zone 5).
Size/type: medium-sized tree
Usual height: 8-15m
Usual width: 4-7m
Leaves: deciduous broadleaf
Colour of leaves: green
Flowers: insignificant or non-blooming
Location: full sun
Usda zone (lowest): 5 (down to -29°c)
155 00 Praha Stodůlky, Za Mototechnou 2673/-11, Czech Republic