Good as shade trees or planted in informal groves, their star-shaped leaves turn red, yellow, orange or purple in fall. Their round spiny fruits are shaped like the maces that medieval knights once carried. Their fruits contain the gummy sap that inspired their common name, Sweet Gum. Ridged bark resembles cork. They tolerate coastal conditions if sheltered from strong winds. Not recommended as street trees due to honeydew drip from aphids and scale, plus the litter from their fruit. Water deeply during dry spells to promote growth and deep roots. Shallow roots can crack pavement. Iron chlorosis is a problem in high pH soils.
Its green leaves turn brilliant orange-red in fall, similar to maples. This tree has a pyramidal shape when young which spreads out with age.