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Emerald Sentinel Sweet Gum

Liquidambar styraciflua 'Emerald Sentinel'

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Emerald Sentinel Sweet Gum (Liquidambar styraciflua 'Emerald Sentinel') at Kushner's Garden & Patio

Emerald Sentinel Sweet Gum

Emerald Sentinel Sweet Gum

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Emerald Sentinel Sweet Gum (Liquidambar styraciflua 'Emerald Sentinel') at Kushner's Garden & Patio

Emerald Sentinel Sweet Gum foliage

Emerald Sentinel Sweet Gum foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  30 feet

Spread:  12 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  4

Other Names:  American Sweet Gum


A narrowly pyramidal to columnar, compact tree with interestingly shaped leaves that turn orange in fall; somewhat particular about growing conditions; fruit is spiny and can be somewhat messy, use where this will not be a problem

Ornamental Features

Emerald Sentinel Sweet Gum has dark green deciduous foliage on a tree with a pyramidal habit of growth. The lobed palmate leaves turn an outstanding orange in the fall. However, the fruit can be messy in the landscape and may require occasional clean-up.

Landscape Attributes

Emerald Sentinel Sweet Gum is a deciduous tree with a strong central leader and a distinctive and refined pyramidal form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a high maintenance tree that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Messy

Emerald Sentinel Sweet Gum is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade
  • Vertical Accent

Planting & Growing

Emerald Sentinel Sweet Gum will grow to be about 30 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 80 years or more.

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the foliage in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selection of a native North American species.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Accent  Shade  Articulation 
Fall Color 
Ornamental Features