Sweetgum trees are a fall beauty with their variegated colorful leaves. However, for many homeowner's this display does not make up for the deluge of spiny seed pods that litter their yard. This is a guide about preventing a sweetgum tree from making balls.
How do I get rid of gumballs?
Hardiness Zone: 6a
By Linda from IL
You can collect the sweetgum balls (dried ones), spray paint and glitter them, and either use them on Christmas gifts
or Christmas trees, in bowls on the table on in clear glass vases or baskets with natural pine cones. They make really pretty ornamental touches for wreaths for every season when left natural, and I've used them in floral arrangements by gluing them onto thin sticks and placing them right in with cut, dried
or silk flowers.
You might not be able to prevent them from falling to the ground, but you can sure find lots of crafty uses for them.
There are people who will buy them for craft uses as well.
Hope this helps.
I would pay postage to send me some! They are supposed to be good for spiders. I put some out several years ago and worked like a charm.
Very few of the many seeds are fertile. Gum balls can be tilled into compacted soil for aeration, minding the pH, of course.
I appreciate the craft ideas certainly, as my garden is polluted with balls from my (well-liked) neighbor. Are they a sourde for storax gum? Not sure, find your own web info at your own risk.
I have a whole big pile of sweet gumballs inback of my shed here in Springfield, Missouri. Anyone that wants them is welcome to them. Just email me and I will tell you where I live. cjpage1954 AT gmail.com
What is the capsule called you put in the drilled holes so they don't produce sweet gum balls or fruit?
It is called "Snipper". They come in packs of 25 and you place them every 4 inches around the base of the tree. They are $155 per pack. Too expensive for me!
How can I keep my sweet gums from making balls?
By Wyatt from Sallisaw, OK
From Cleveland Ohio -
I have had Davey Tree come out and spray the tree to help relieve the amount of monkey balls. However, it by no stretch totally eliminates the quantity. It simply reduces the quantity. This procedure was mentioned to me by a friend who is a naturalist for the local metroparks. He said they spray the sweet gums on a few of the parks' golf courses each year.
Here are a few detals. I had a very tough time finding a party that does this stuff. Davey Tree happens to be a major player in our area. Cost was shy of $100 for a very large tree. The tree is sprayed in the spring right around the time germination begins.
Also, I last had it sprayed a few years ago and that year my breathing (nose constantly blocked in the evening) was pathethic. It got to the point where I would walk around outside in the middle of the night hoping my nasal passages would open up. Was it the tree or not? I don't know. However, it just so happens that my breathing has not been that bad since then.
Best of luck ... to me, these balls are a major pain. Just can't afford to have the tree taken down, though.
We have four lovely sweet gums in our backyard. The thorny gumballs are worth putting up with for the beauty and joy of these magnificent trees. I do not know the age of these trees but they are huge, and as one poster has already commented, they hold up very well to high winds. We also get temporarily side flooding and these trees have stood that test as well. In the Fall, their colors are gorgeous. I don't see the problem.
Seriously? You navigate the frozen tundra your driveway has become for nearly 3 weeks, then nearly bust your butt on a spiney ball!
How can I prevent sugar gum tree balls?
By Bob from Magnolia, TX
About the only thing I can think of is to remove the tree. You could call your ag. extension service, but I don't know that you can prevent an existing flowering plant from making seeds. There may or may not be varieties that do not make the balls, but what you have is what you've got right now.