Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Slender Silhouette’ (Columnar Sweet Gum)

A stunning columnar tree, 12 x 3metres over 20 years, with fresh green summer leaves and flaming autumn colours. Please contact us for stock availability and sizes.

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A stunning columnar tree, growing to 12 metres x 3 metres over 20 years. It has fresh green and deeply lobed summer leaves which are a bit like a maple, quite finely textured, that become a brilliant orange to purplish red in autumn.

‘Slender Silhouette’ is a fastigiate (stems and branches more or less parallel to the main stem) form of Liquidambar. The original species grows naturally in mountainous regions and riverside or swampy areas across the southern and eastern United States, and this form is becoming widely planted here. And for good reason.

This tree has an especially powerful architectural shape which we adore, and as it’s so versatile we can always find a place for this tree (or several) in any garden. Imagine stately rows flanking your driveway in symmetrical ranks, saluting you home as you pass, or a pair standing sentinel at the sweeping edge of your crisp lawn. Our garden designers also use the narrow columns to introduce height to a broader palette of other pleasing and playful shapes like crisply clipped shrubs and mounds of cloudlike evergreens.

Plant in full sun to partial shade, any aspect, in any soil that is moist but well drained. A thoroughly established tree can tolerate occasional spells of both very wet or very dry conditions.


N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.


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It is an absolutely wonderful treasure trove for any plant lover and we will be back (frequently!) The plants are all in superb condition, with an enormous variety to choose from. The staff are very professional and knowledgable, but also friendly and helpful.