Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua)

Sweetgum is a domestic hardwood


Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) grows from southwestern Connecticut westward into Missouri and southward to the Gulf Coast. Almost all lumber is produced in the Southern and South Atlantic States.


The lumber from sweetgum is usually marked as sap gum (the light-colored sapwood) or redgum (the reddish-brown heartwood). Sweetgum often has a form of cross grain called interlocked grain, and it must be dried slowly. When quartersawn, interlocked grain produces a ribbon-type stripe that is desirable for interior woodwork and furniture. The wood is moderately heavy and hard. It is moderately strong, moderately stiff, and moderately high in shock resistance.

Primary Uses

Sweetgum is used principally for lumber, veneer, plywood, slack cooperage, railroad crossties, fuel, pulpwood, boxes and crates, furniture, interior moulding, and millwork.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.