Lifespan Of Sweet Gum Tree: How Long Does It Live?

lifespan of sweet gum tree

The lifespan of sweet gum tree is great to know. This tree makes the surrounding beautiful because of its colorful leaves and trees appearance. This tree is lovely and people loves to take picture of it or use it as a background on the photo. It’s great to have this tree and people see how it grows bigger. But how long does sweet gum tree live?

Lifespan Of Sweet Gum Tree

The average lifespan of sweet gum tree is around 150 years. But there are some trees that can live for around 400 years. The length of life expectancy of the tree depends on many factors. If the tree will stays healthy for long time then it can grow longer. Pests and diseases might affect the tree if not controlled.

The sweet gum tree is a deciduous tree. It means that it loses its leaves during the autumn season. Its really nice to see the tree dropping leaves because its colorful and beautiful to the eyes. Dropping leaves is not bad, its normal for this kind of tree and its part of their growth.

The sweet gum tree is growing around 18-30 m (60 to 100 ft). It is a little bit tall and produces a wide shade under the tree. Its canopy is in narrow oval shape. The tree doesn’t produce seed or flower on its first 15 to 20 years of growth. When the tree produce seeds, it can be use to grow another tree.

Factors That Might Affect The Lifespan Of Sweet Gum Tree


Pests might cause some damage to the tree. It can be acute or may become severe. Some of the pests that might attack the sweet gum tree are scale, fall webworm, tent caterpillar and plum borer. This kind of pest might damage the leaves, bark, branches and other parts of the tree might be affected. A treatment is needed in order for them to stop damaging the tree.

Scales might cause for the leaves to discolored and scarred. The branches are also affected by making it bumpy and have cracked. The best solution to control scale is use horticultural oil spray during the early spring. In that way the scales will be eliminated and will stop the damage on the tree.

Fall webworm creates nests on the tree which is hard to see. Removing the nest by pruning those affected branches is the best way to control the pest. Some sprayer can also be use to control them like spinosad.

Tent caterpillar also creates nest on the tree but also damage the leaves. Pruning and spraying of pesticides can help to eliminate tent caterpillar. Plum borer also cause some damage on the sweet gum tree by burrowing on the bark. Insecticidal sprays can help to control this kind of pest. Pest can really affects the lifespan of gum tree.


Like pests, diseases can also cause a huge problem for the sweet gum tree. They can affect the leaves, branches, roots, flower and bark. Diseases can slow down the growth of the tree. It will not thrive well. Treatment can help for the tree to stays in good condition. Some of the diseases of sweet gum tree are Cercospora, artist’s conk and Botryosphaeria canker.

Cercospora produces dark brown bordered spot on the leaves. This can cause losing of the leaves. Removing those infected leaves and applying fungicide will help to control them.

Artist’s conk causes wood rot on the roots and trunk. They are damaging. Keeping the tree free from injury and making it vigorous is the best way to do to prevent the tree from getting the disease. Pruning can also help by removing those affected branches. Botyosphaeria canker also causes damage on the tree wood. Keeping the tree healthy is the best way to do because they are more resistant to the disease.


Water is needed especially for the young trees. Young sweet gum trees are still small and not yet established. Watering the tree regularly helps their roots to grow and spread. They are becoming more establish as many months passed by. Giving them enough water regularly will help them grow faster.

Mature sweet gum trees doesn’t need much water. They can tolerate drought season. But even though they are already mature, still they need water to help them continues thriving.


The sweet gum tree can grow under direct sun or partial shade. The sun helps them to grow well because it is where they gets its food. Atleast 6 hours of direct sunlight is needed daily for them to grow better. Growing sweet gum trees in partial shade will be fine. As long as the location where they are planted gets sunlight the tree will be great.

When the tree gets enough sunlight they will grow faster. They can create foods regularly for the long run. Its still important to find a perfect place where to grow them. Also a perfect spot can be a great thing when the tree becomes bigger, it will make the surrounding really beautiful.


In order for the tree to keeps healthy, they also need nutrients. Nutrients are found on the soil. They can be natural or applied by human. A healthy soil is helpful for the tree to grow taller and produce more leaves and branches. But a poor soil can affects the tree growth and applying fertilizer can really improve it.

Some fertilizers are organically like compost and some other are synthetic. Synthetic fertilizers are usually created in the factories. They contains chemical to last long. It can be use to the tree to improve its growth. Organic fertilizer are usually organic. It doesn’t contain chemicals which is good for our environment. They can also helps the tree to grow bigger and thrive well.

Is A Sweet Gum Tree A Hardwood?

Yes, sweet gum tree is a hardwood. They have a strong good wood. The wood can be use to make plywood, furniture, cabinets and many other wood works.

Are Sweet Gum Roots Invasive?

The sweet gum tree have a shallow roots but it can be invasive and destroy sidewalks.

Those are some informations about the lifespan of sweet gum tree. The tree is averaging 150 years of life expectancy but some other trees can live shorter or even longer as long as 400 years. The tree is a great decoration on the environment. People loves to see beautiful things like trees.