|Sites and Soils
||Mesic sites in ravines, creek banks, on acidic to alkaline soils.|
||Witch-hazel is a small understory tree of rich, mesic sites. It is
tolerant and slow growing. |
||Witch-hazel is extraordinary in its flowering habits: it flowers in late
October to early December, its slender yellow petals the only signs of color in
the dormant woods. |
||Eastern deciduous forest.|
||witch-hazel obtains its name from the dowsers, or "water witches"
who used forked witch-hazel sticks to detect groundwater. Commercial
witch-hazel, an astringent liniment, is an alcohol extract of witch hazel bark.
||Witch-hazel is a beautiful ornamental for shaded borders and near
buildings. It grows best with good soil moisture and moderate shade. |
||flowing like storax (a gum from a related tree).|
|Sites and Soils
||Sweetgum occurs on a wide range of sites, from riparian forests to dry
sands. Best development is in riparian forests on rich alluvial soils.|
||Sweetgum is one of the most common and important hardwoods of the South.
It is most characteristic, and grows best, in riparian zones and coves.
However, its ecological breadth is astonishing, and the species can be found on
a wide array of sites, except for the most xeric. Pure stands often form on wet
sites and old fields. Old field stands are usually of sprout origin. Sweetgum is
a common component of pine forests in the deep south, mixed with oaks elsewhere,
and with riparian species.|
||Sweetgum is a fast-growing intolerant tree. It is a prolific seed
producer, and the light seeds are carried considerable distances by wind. Seeds
germinate on any site where there is ample moisture. Early growth is very
rapid, but the tree often falls behind other species after maturity. Sweetgum
stump sprouts and root sprouts, especially after the stem is killed, cut or
heavily damaged. Epicormic sprouts are common, perhaps more than on any other
forest tree. On excellent sites, the tree becomes very large. Lifespan is
200-400 years. Champion 200'x6'; typical 100'x3-4'.|
||Abundant; decreased by conversion of bottomlands to farms, but increased
by abandonment of farmlands, so populations presumably increasing in the last 30
||Southern part of Eastern Deciduous forest, but not in the Appalachian
highlands or the E. slope of the Appalachians|
||entire state; less common on Cumberland Plateau|
||Sweetgum is a very important commercial species. It is used as veneer for
plywood cores, in MDF, OSB and other composite products, and as a pulp source.
Sweetgum is increasingly important for pulp production. Ornamental.|
||Sweetgum is a marvelous ornamental, stately of form and magnificent of fall
color. It grows well on a variety of soils, included compacted clay. It is best
suited to large sites, such as parks. Sweetgum has gotten a bad rap because it
is considered "trashy," dropping lots of fruit and branches. This
seems a small price to pay for such a lovely tree. The fruits, far from being
a nuisance, are important implements in the play of children.|
||One of only two species in this genus, the other occuring in China.