Reply by crank49

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Posted on sweet gum trees

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4032 posts in 2992 days

#1 posted 09-23-2012 05:32 PM

I have a few hundred Sweet Gum several Black Gum trees on 40 acres..
When I built my house in the middle of the woods I had to cut several down.
The Sweet Gum is a pretty wood, looks similar to Red Elm to me.
Twists badly when drying. My dad agreed it was pretty but the only thing it was good for was RR crossties.

Black Gum is not so pretty, lacks the dark heart wood, but has grain that looks like braided hair.
It is used for rollers for moving heavy machinery because it is hard and will not split.
I tried to split some in a 35 ton log splitter and it just crushes into an interwoven pile of fuzz.

I never heard of Red Gum around here in Middle Tennessee, but it’s probably just a regional naming difference.
What I call Sweet Gum has 5 pointed leaves and spiney looking balls that fall off in the fall.
What I call Black Gum has football shaped leaves and berries that look like small black olives that fall off in the fall. I don’t think they are useful for anything except staining what ever they fall on.

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