Red Gum

Botanical Name

Liquidambar Styraciflua

Other Common Names

Delta Redgum, Figured Gum, Hazel, Sapgum, Whitegum


Sweetgum occurs naturally in the southeastern United States.

The Tree

Sweetgum trees grow to heights of 100 feet, with diameters of 3 feet.


The heartwood (or redgum) is much more colorful than the sapwood. It ranges in color from pinkish brown to a deep full-bodied red. Streaks of black may also be present. The heartwood frequently has darker streaks of pigment figure called figured redgum. The figure is reported to be especially prominent in flat sawn timber and rotary cut veneer.


The grain is interlocked, producing an attractive grain, but causing problems in seasoning. The wood is moderately hard, stiff, and heavy.

Working Properties

Sweetgum is above average in turning, boring, and steam bending. It is intermediate in planing, shaping, bending, splitting and holding nails and screws. It requires pretreatment before gluing.


Boxes, crates, dimension stock, furniture parts and fixtures.


Figured red gum from the heartwood, which has a mottled or marbled appearance and a satiny shine, is reported to be highly prized and is usually priced in the valuable range.