Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sweetgum, Red Gum, Liquid Amber
Liquidambar styraciflua 'Slender Silhouette'

Family: Hamamelidaceae
Genus: Liquidambar (lih-kwid-AM-bar) (Info)
Species: styraciflua (sty-rak-ee-FLOO-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Slender Silhouette

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Pale Green

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Good Fall Color

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By grafting
By budding

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive sladeofsky On Jul 2, 2014, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

A favorite of mine. Not bothered by mildew, unlike the columnar oaks. It makes a formal vertical accent and is a great choice when there is little horizontal space, such as the postage stamp front gardens of brownstones. If you like your plants tall and skinny, this ones for you. It is narrower than most other fastigate trees. And it's a North American native to boot.

Positive HortTiger On Jan 16, 2009, HortTiger from Inman, SC wrote:

This is a great example of how variable seedlings of the same tree can be. The original tree was found near a pond in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately the land owner recently cut down the parent tree and fell it into the pond for fish habitat. He apparently didn't know what he had!

Slender Silhouette is very narrow and rarely produces sweetgum balls. Even when it does produce, the canopy of this tree is so narrow that cleanup is very easy since the balls drop directly down. I have seen them planted in rows and they are truly unique in form and very beautiful.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Decatur, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Streator, Illinois
Winnetka, Illinois
Clermont, Kentucky
Georgetown, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky (2 reports)
Acton, Massachusetts
Defiance, Ohio
Inman, South Carolina
Nashville, Tennessee

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