Maples of North America are my personal favorite, but sweetgum is the most colorful for autumn.
We may not get much foliar color in autumn here, but we get enough. Sweetgums do not need much cool weather to color well. They would probably have colored better and held their foliage a bit better if the weather got cooler faster, but we can not complain about what we got. Most of the crape myrtles are still completely green. Cottonwoods are defoliating, but without much color. Maples are rare here. The three best trees for color in autumn here are sweetgum, pistache and flowering pear. Of these, we happen to have several sweetgums here.
Sweetgum is not the sort of tree that I would recommend for home gardens. They are innately very likely to develop structural deficiency. By the time such problems are identified, they are difficult to correct without disfigurement. Aggressive roots are likely to displace pavement, and sometimes invade septic systems. Then there are all those…
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