Sweet Gum Balls

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by iceberger, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. iceberger

    iceberger LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    I just purchased a house that has many sweet gum trees. Is there anything I can do to the trees (short of cutting them down) to reduce the number of gum balls they produce?
  2. jkingrph

    jkingrph LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

  3. integrityman

    integrityman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,713

    Not much. Rake them up..... Or let them go til spring. They tend to dry out a lot during the winter. Your mower will most likely be able to suck them in and grind them up.
  4. rreyn1812

    rreyn1812 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 444

    Did some investigation years ago because in my part of AR we also have a lot of Sweet Gum trees. There are some sprays that can be used to help, but with the size of most trees you would have to have a pretty good spraying system to be able to apply the material and have it do any good. One neighbor cut down the last of his (yeah!!), and another one bought a sweet gum ball "picker-upper" that he pushes around and it has flexible fingers that grab the balls and dumps them in a hopper. Actually it works pretty good (cost about $350). I've got one 85-95 ft tree left with 2 trunks that I hope just dies and falls apart a little at a time. Too big for me to cut down in it's current location without taking out a mortgage on the property to have a tree service come out and do it for me. Other than that, I just run my mower over them and cut them up. I have a mulching deck and keep the blades sharp; don't side discharge cuz them little buggers really come whizzin' out. :):)
  5. iceberger

    iceberger LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    I saw something advertised called "the nut wizard" that is supposed to pick up nuts and even gum balls. It looks like a round wire ball on the end of a stick. You are supposed to just roll it over the nut or whatever you want to pick up. They are about $50 and I was wondering if anyone has had any experience using it.

    MS_SURVEYOR LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,002

  7. BINKY1902

    BINKY1902 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from South
    Messages: 1,123

    You could probably get them up with a pull-behind lawn sweeper, pulled behind a mower or four wheeler.
  8. Maxify

    Maxify LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    I removed 13 of them the first year I owned my home.

    Had an old red neck tell me that you can:

    "Dip them in white paint and sell them to snowbirds as porcupine eggs."

    Ya just gotta love ingenuity...LOL

    His motto was:
    "It's a sin to leave the gullible with their money."
  9. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    Try to go online and research out the purchase of SNIPPERĀ® (Indole–3-butyric acid).
    These are injection products or you can call a nearby arborists who can inject these trees at the precise time. There is a two to three week window during the onset of bud swell to inject these trees. The timing has to be well planned before injecting or the process is void.
    I performed this procedure in the late 90's but it is and was expensive to purchase and install for me. With the presence of this window of application, I had to have all my ducks in a row. The downside to this procedure is you will have to inject these trees each year to be successful. It does not make the trees sterile, all it does is administer the indole-3 butyric acid into the branch tips by vascular uptake to make the bud die. After this occurs, the tree turns the acid into a substance like methane and then is utilized by the tree. Sometimes the tree will look puney and slow leaf break after the chemical is diffused.
  10. johnsonslawnmanagement

    johnsonslawnmanagement LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 908

    I hate gum trees! I had over 80 removed from my 12 acres before I built my house.
    I did a yard "once upon a time" that had 7 dropping onto sodded zoysia. My walker bagged them up pretty nicely
    and only left a few.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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