Sweet gum 2

In this photo, taken in September 2006, the second sweet gum is still at the nursery Van de Berk in Sint Oedenrode. The tree’s roots have been kept short and compact in the nursery by trimming them evenly every three years and then replanting the tree. Keeping its clump of roots permanently clipped and its branches trimmed has given this tree a shape that is uncommon to its genus: instead of the usual pyramidal growth form of the sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), this specimen has undergone a somewhat pillar-shaped growth. As a result of this treatment, the mature sweet gum was well prepared for transportation to its final destination: Rotterdam’s W.G. Witteveenplein.

The planting of this tree at the square took place on Tuesday March 13 in 2007 by Werf Feijenoord, after the first sweet gum, that died off in 2006, had been cut down and dug out. At twelve metres in length, expectations are that the density of the branches and foliage of the tree will increase in the coming years. The hand-shaped leaf of the sweet gum is dark green in spring and summer but turns bright orange, red and purple in autumn.