Sweetgum Growth Rate

Sweetgum trees grow to reach 75 feet tall. What annual growth rate can you expect?

Sweetgum trees can grow at least 75 feet tall. It’s unique in that its canopy of leaves transitions from growing in a pyramidal shape in its youth to more rounded as it matures.

Have you ever wondered how long this tree takes to develop? In this article, we’ll explore this majestic tree’s growth rate and how to care for it so that it reaches its maximum growth potential. 

How Fast Do They Grow?

Sweetgum trees grow 2 – 3 feet per year in damp soil. The tree essentially sits still the first year after its planted while the roots get established. After its first year, the tree begins its growth spurt.

Mature Size

When mature, the American sweetgum tree can reach heights of 60 – 75 feet. Its branches can span 40 – 50 feet from its trunk.

beautiful tall tree with red leaves

Where Do They Grow Best?

Sweetgum trees can withstand high temperatures and high humidity levels. It grows best in loamy, moist, acidic soil. The soil can be sandy or clay-based as long as it drains well. Sweetgum trees are also drought-resistant once their roots are fully established.

How Much Sun Do They Need?

Sweetgum trees should be planted in full sun; it’s the best way to guarantee that their trunks are sturdy and won’t collapse under their weight. These trees don’t tolerate shade well. The prolonged shade will prompt it to grow prematurely to get more sunshine.

star shaped leaves of sweetgum tree

Tips to Optimize Growth Speed

Although Sweetgum trees grow at a moderate to fast rate, there are still ways to increase their growth speeds. This includes:

  • Planting your sweetgum tree in the fall so that the roots have time to grow before winter arrives;
  • Planting your sweetgum tree in loamy soil that drains well. It also grows best in deep soil that is not too alkaline;
  • Watering your tree often for the first two years after its planted, particularly during periods of prolonged drought or high temperatures; and
  • Providing your sweetgum tree with nutrients that consist of manure and seaweed regularly.
Carley Miller
Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at Bustling Nest. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.
More ArticlesTrees and Bushes