Q: What is wrong with my sweet gum tree?
A: It was easy to identify the “problem” since you brought a specimen into the office. Your sweet gum tree, Liquidambar styraciflua, commonly has these corky growths along the stem and trunk area. This is not a disease or an indication of weakness on the tree. So, enjoy the tree and don’t worry about it. Plant sweetgum trees 10 feet or more from sidewalk or driveways it has large, aggressive roots may lift curbs and sidewalks. The fruit may be a litter nuisance to some in the fall, but this is usually only noticeable on hard surfaces, such as roads, patios, and sidewalks, where people could slip and fall on the fruit. The cultivar ‘Rotundiloba’ is fruitless so it may be a better choice in urban settings.