Sunday, April 6, 2014

American Sweet Gum tree

IMG_3107 as Smart Object-1

I have seen these trees all my life and somehow never wondered what they were. These trees are all over my neighborhood.

IMG_3108 as Smart Object-1After taking these pictures, I decided to do a little research. The American sweet gum tree was originally named for the amber-colored sap that was scraped from the inside of the bark to produce a chewing gum-like substance.

Native Americans and pioneers used the sap for a number of medicinal purposes. The seed pods you see clinging to the branches and on the grass are sometimes called gumballs. I just know them as something to be avoided, cuz they hurt when you step on them.

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