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View Diary: The Daily Bucket: Rotting Sweetgum World (32 comments)

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  •  Wonderful diary! I was fascinated. (15+ / 0-)

    If I don't get to the oyster mushrooms the day they pop out, I know they will be inedible because of the insects they attract.  The deer and bears must be connoisseurs as they seem to relish them avec des insectes.  :)

    Here in NEPA I do not have sweet gums, but at the Jersey Shore we had lots of them.  My neighbors hated the seed pods; I found if I composted them for a year and then spread them out in the garden, the goldfinches tore them to shreds.  The remaining husks were good water retainers and helped keep the soil moist.   Waste not!

    The sweet gum itself is a fascinating subject.  A very hardy tree, deep tap root, tolerant to salt spray, withstands drought or too much water, not picky about soil type.  There are some growing on the beach in the sand on the Raritan Bay.  

    But beware if you are buying furniture labelled "satin walnut" as it is probably sweet gum!

    "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

    by Most Awesome Nana on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 09:28:23 AM PST

    •  That part of our yard just has a leaf litter (9+ / 0-)

      substrate so I don't do anything with the fruit.  Those trees don't seem to produce the enormous amount of it that I have seen elsewhere.

      When I lived in central Illinois I was fascinated that several southern coastal plain tree species such as Sweetgum and Bald Cypress were commonly grown as ornamental, about 200 miles north of the edge of the ranges of those species. Here they are a very common native tree.

      "We are normal and we want our freedom" - Bonzos

      by matching mole on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 09:59:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I cannot imagine anyone growing a sweet gum as (8+ / 0-)

        an ornamental!  They never looked that pretty to me.  Although the bark is interesting.

        I lived with 4 trees for 35 years and I noticed a pattern in their fruiting.  It would be negligent for 3-4 years and then very heavy for 2.  Strange thing, the 4 trees were not in sync.  Each one was heavy in different years.  Almost as if they took it in rotation.   It was so odd, I made notes in my gardening journal (that's why I am sure of the timing).  

        "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

        by Most Awesome Nana on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 11:24:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Our Evergreen Huckleberry, (4+ / 0-)

          Vaccinium ovatum, are on a similar schedule. Individual shrubs will bear for one or maybe two years, then nothing for a while. There are enough individuals shrubs in the Forest that I can count on at least a taste every year, though the synchronicity is odd - last year only a few shrubs bore fruit. Three years ago the fruit was so abundant that I was able to take a pint home and the overall crop appeared not to be touched.


          I came for the politics and stayed for the science.

          by bwren on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 07:28:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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