Sweet gum trees


LawnSite Member
Cumming Georgia
Does anyone out there have any suggestions for what to do with the little sweet gum balls that come off the tree. The only thing i know to do is just rake them up. Is there anyway to get a tree to stop making the balls.


LawnSite Member
cincy, oh
Raking them up is about the only way i've found to get them up. Billygoats just spit them back out. There are new varieties of sweet gums that don't have the balls on them.


LawnSite Member
As geoscraper said" Just rake them up". We have locations were there are only sweet gum trees there. I have tried every thing, and just raking them up ( for hours) is the only thing to do.


Cultural Landscape


LawnSite Fanatic
oh, but, most guys on this site swear they don't even own a rake. "what is a rake?" is what they told me when i said spring cleanups always involve a rake. they say thier walkers and z's can pick up acorns, tiny twigs that are mashed into the ground, and "spiny balls" from gum trees. they swear they don't even own a rake. huh. yes, blowing them into a pile, some raking required, is the only way. and i'll tell you this, there are alot more of them than it looks like.
The most ideal way to deal with them is remove the tree. Since that is not the most economical way to deal with it for most people, you can inject the tree with a de-flowering injection so they do not produce the gum balls.


LawnSite Silver Member
I cant remember who makes it....but there is a product on the market that can be sprayed on the tree early spring to prevent the formation of the gum balls. I know this because I looked into it for a client of mine a couple of years back....never did try the product though.


LawnSite Bronze Member
South Jersey
Actually sweet gum trees do NOT produce any balls until they reach about 4" cal. or so. From then on expect more and more.

D Felix

LawnSite Bronze Member
I think the spray is called "flourel" or something like that. Contact your local certified arborist and see who they recommend for spraying trees. It takes a pretty decent sized pump to spray a tall tree.

I know it works on Gingko's so it should work on sweet gums...

Check out http://www.isa-arbor.com and click on the "find an arborist" link.



LawnSite Member
southern Georgia
I have used a walker to pick up gumballs before they work well. Still it won't get the beds and the balls that have been stepped on or run over. Anyone that doesn't ever use a rake is lieing or missing alot of debris.

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