The fruit opens up which releases the seeds, however, the spiked shells are left behind and are often considered a nuisance. But even more fascinating than the fact that crafters are willing to actually pay money for "gum balls" is their apparent use in Hoodoo. By Debbie [3 Comments] November 2, 2011 0 found this helpful. Rake the sweet gum balls into a pile with a standard leaf rake. My mother told me that "crafters" just love sweet gum balls and buy them to use in all kinds of craft projects. The fruit opens up which releases the seeds, however, the spiked shells are left behind and are often considered a nuisance. I've been told Gum is hard to beat for baskets but the local basket making factory here shut down years ago.". Easily identified by its star shaped leaves with 5 points and spiked fruit, these hardwood trees can grow up to 150 feet tall and live for up to 400 years. Yes, there are people selling sweet gum balls on eBay and etsy, and I would have to assume that there are people buying them there too. Sweet gums are large trees that bear alternate, sharply (three- to seven-lobed) palmate leaves.The plants produce upright spikes of greenish male flowers and round drooping clusters of female flowers on the same tree.The fruits are spiny dark brown balls known as an aggregate of capsules.Each capsule contains several small seeds, and the fruits often persist through the winter. But, apparently in some circles, there is a demand for sweet gum balls. I just moved into a house and inherited a sweet gum tree. I was able to split these pieces fairly well with my splitting-head axe. The wood takes about 3 times longer to process compared to other firewood types resulting in a lot of work for a small amount of firewood. Sweet gum works good for the "shoulder seasons" when the outside temperatures are mild. It was a beautiful place where shoes were optional in the summer and most of the tree seed pods that fell in our yard were fun things you could turn into helicopters or pull apart and stick to your nose. Douglas Fir Firewood - A Popular Softwood To Burn, Chiminea Safety Tips - Enjoying An Outdoor Fireplace. Arg, they are such a pest that we have taken the chain saw to many of them in areas where they wreak havoc. Seed pods (Gum Balls) all over the driveway and in my landscaped grassy areas of the yard. $19.51 $ 19. Dubble Bubble Gum Balls, Assorted Fruit Flavor, 36 - .65oz tubes. If, only if, I were a craft person (I'm not), I'd be in heaven! I've certainly learned a lot about sweet gums since then though ... mostly because I've searched high and low for ways to get rid of the stinking "gum ball" seed pods they drop everywhere. Thanks for sharing Your experiences! Owning A Clay Chiminea - A They Any Good? Full Member. Love those things :)Reply, Never miss an update! My niece and I were in a craft show at the school several years ago and she took the sweet gum balls, sprayed them black put pipe cleaner legs on them glued little eyes on them attached a string to the body and tied it to a stick and she sold 100 dancing spiders for $1 each. I left several large trunk cuts out in the snow in my yard through January and February. They are considered a powerful protection amulet and are used for protection on altars, in witch bottles and in spirit bags. The wood has a unique reddish brown color with sapwood that's nearly white and black grain running through the hardwood. Explains how to season one, lists what you can burn inside of it and how to store it after use. Since the wood burns quickly and doesn't have good coaling qualities. Yes! On their lawn, Sweet Gum Balls were strewn all around. I have no problem with the trees themselves. In fact, sweet gum will produce approximately 20.6 million BTU's per cord which isn't all that bad. How to Compost Sweetgum Balls. They are pretty for crafts, but nasty if you step on them; especially barefoot! The major concern with the wood is the amount of work and energy it takes to split it into usable sizes. As a matter of fact, I'd go so far as to say way, way, way too prolific. Because of the landscaping raking is out of the question and picking them up by hand is time consuming. Look up Sweet Gum trees on the internet. The spiky gum balls of the sweet gum tree are annoying to anyone who steps on them. Sweetgum balls will take some time to break down. or stepped on too many of them just to have them roll under my feet and propel my body in ways and directions it wasn't meant to go until I fell (hard) to the ground, landing on more of the spiny little buggers. If you don't have access to a power splitter, use a sharp splitting axe and work your way around the edges shaving off thin chunks as you go. I'm sitting on a crafters gold mine here people! Discusses placement from your home and how to build the perfect backyard fire. You can see an immature ball still on its twig below: Sweetgum balls are technically known as capsular heads. Rabbits and slugs don’t like them, but the squirrels do. If you’re up for some experimenting, Sweet Gum Balls can been used to make a tea from boiling the young green seeds. However, this doesn't mean you can't use the wood. Many people compare the burning qualities of sweet gum firewood to pine firewood except sweet gum does not contain the sticky sap that's associated with pine. Step 3 Roll over your lawn with a rolling nut picker-upper like the Nut Wizard or Pecan Picker Upper. Gumballs have taken over my yard here in NC! Very sorry. The woody fruit, from all accounts, will require a hot compost pile with an internal temperature of over 100 degree F. (37 C.) You will need to maintain the pile, turning the compost and watering it religiously. Thank you! Firewood is a topic of many different opinions. They are considered a powerful protection amulet and are used for protection on altars, in witch bottles and in spirit bags. Threw a huge piece on the coals a couple hours ago. I grew up in a land without sweet gum trees. The infertile seeds of the sweet gum ball contain shikimic acid, which is also contained in the same tree used to make Tamiflu. In fact, I had never seen, felt, or heard of sweet gums until well into my thirties when we bought our current property here in southeast Virginia. We call them spikey balls, but they’re also known as “sweet gum balls” or “monkey balls” – don’t ask me why (I’m sure my dad will come up with a good explanation). Nice trunk pieces for bowls, platters,etc. Messages 4,159 Reaction score 12,379 Location Pipe creek Texas First name … Enter your email address below to receive AGrowingGarden.com posts by email:Delivered by FeedBurner, The Incredible Beauty of Crepe Myrtle Bark. "This winter I discovered by pure chance a way to alter the wood fibers some so you can split the wood more effectively with an axe. If you thought white oak was stringy, you have never split sweet gum. You would only have to step on one of them bare-footed one time and you would never forget what they are! For the best chance of stopping the sweetgum balls, hire a certified arborist. According to Wikipedia, Hoodoo is a traditional African-American folk spirituality that developed from a number of West African, Native American and European spiritual traditions. At least that's what I see... but maybe I've stepped on one too many of these gum balls in my bare feet (OUCH!!) But did you know there may be a natural remedy in your backyard? It's considered a valuable tree used for lumber and furniture production, as well as for ornamental purposes. For best results, try splitting the wood when it's still green. They are considered a powerful protection amulet and are used for protection on altars, in witch bottles and in spirit bags. The round fruit balls are produced from fertilized flowers. Many people will not waste their time cutting, splitting and stacking sweet gum firewood. Does anyone know of a good source for them? The tree needs the injections right before it flowers in spring. Like the pine tree has pine cones, the sweet gum tree has gum balls. 51 ($0.41/Ounce) Get it as soon as Mon, Jan 4. $11.75 $ 11. Avoid splitting the wood right down the center and just focus on the edges. From it they pried off, then popped into their mouths, yellowish brown balls of a fragrant, resinous substance with a licorice-like taste. They were formerly often treated in Hamamelidaceae.They are decorative deciduous trees that are used in the wood industry and for ornamental purposes. 75 ($0.50/Ounce) Get it as soon as Wed, Dec 30. woodman6415 Member. In their yard, they had a Sweet Gum Ball tree! They would rather use their time and storage space on a wood that's more "user friendly.". I let it season for just over a year before I started burning it this year and it was pretty dry. I have nothing other than disdain for them. I'll let you know how the "sweet gum ball hugelkultur" works out. Return from Sweet Gum Firewood to Firewood Types. Most lawn mower vacuum systems clog up with the sweetgum balls, and a standard mower shoots them out the sides of the mower deck, making them into fast-moving projectiles. I checked it out and was amazed to find that people actually pay money for sweet gum balls! Since the wood is difficult to split and stack compared to other popular firewood types, some view it as a waste of time and energy. Seasoning Sweet Gum. Dubble Bubble Assorted 24mm Gumballs 1 Inch, 3 Pounds Approximately 165 Gumballs. The logs should be roughly uniform in color from the center of the log to the outer edge, their bark should be loose and come away readily and the logs should feel dry to the touch and lightweight relative to their size. Growing Azaleas & Missing our Northern Virginia Yard a Bit .... Help me fight spammers! Drying sweet gum wood can be extremely tricky. How to use a clay chiminea to create the perfect backyard fire. They are also believed to hold power to break hexes, or deflect them back to the source, much like a mirror would, when appropriately used. He'd cut/ stacked it for future burning, asked if I was interested-- instant Heck yeah!! This video is about Make Money With Sweet Gum BallsE-mail: curmudgeoncalls@gmail.com I'm planning on digging out the topsoil in the low spot (and use it for gardening elsewhere on my property), and I'll rake my plethora of sweet gum balls to fill the hole. This time of year, sweet gum balls are falling in high volumes and you may consider them to be a nuisance. The spiked shells can be painful to walk on and are commonly nicknamed burr balls or sticker balls. Choose sweetgum logs that are dry enough for burning. Privacy Policy     Advertising Policy     Share This Site     About Me     Additional Resources, This post may contain affiliate links so I earn a. If you are simply going to be burning the wood then things get a little easier. I use a heavy maul and the pieces split on the first swing. If you're going to split sweet gum, using a hydraulic splitter is the best way. Page 2 of 3 < Prev 1 2 3 Next > chilly460 ArboristSite Lurker. The sweet gum trees we have are quite tall and very prolific. The problem with sweet gum wood is that it tends to warp when it dries, as you learned above. Hoodoo practices include folk remedies and magic spells that make use of physical objects believed to have spiritual or supernatural powers. Since the wood burns quickly and doesn't have good coaling qualities, mixing it with other hardwoods will give you better overnight results. Sweet gum firewood tends to give off a lot of smoke and it even has an unpleasant odor at times. There's tons of it here, but not much of it is taken because of the interlocking wood fibers.". Douglas fir firewood is a popular firewood choice for many people. Another visitor shared these tips when splitting the wood by hand: "I've been burning wood since we lived way North where hard maple was the ultimate. Cut the segments of wood to half their normal length and split it green if the wood is still moist and gum is worth the trouble. Used in this sense, a capsule is a dry fruit composed of more than one chamber and which splits open at maturity to release seeds. As a monoecious plant, a sweet gum bears male and female flowers. Just look at the one in my photo above. I'm not sure if this will be useful for everyone, but the information might be helpful for someone around Maryland where sweet gum is one of the four most abundantly growing trees. We’ve taken to burning them when we have a fire in our fireplace – though it’s hard to get them to sit on the log, since they tend to roll off. Now this is Maryland, so we're not as cold as a Michigan winter, but both 2013-14 and 2014-15 were harsh so temperatures were sub-freezing for weeks. If you look at it long enough, you can start to see it's evil eyes, it's crooked nose, and it's open mouth and fangs. Sweet gum seed pods, though, are a different story. If you need a lot of firewood I would suggested avoiding sweet gum. The wood is beautiful and it's often used as a veneer for plywood. Actually, it doesn't really split it just tears, shreds and twists its way apart. Sweet gum is not a very popular firewood choice for a variety of different reasons. I am working on pistol grips and sheathed hunting lives these days so 2 x 1 x 5 or what ever size you have. The two trees that dropped these few pods are on the list for the next Chain Saw massacre! Lovely article :) I haven't decided if I have any less loss by air drying down to 20% before putting in the DH kiln or going right into the kiln. Many people associate sweet gum with their hard spiked fruits that fall everywhere around the tree. Sweet Gum Firewood Use Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by chilly460, Mar 19, 2017. Today I cut this off the stack after I finished clinic- it's already spalted nicely, been down - 6 mos.. I immediately asked if I could pick some up! A quick search and there are days upon days of DIY craft projects listed online that include sweet gum balls. But, when some of these people referred to sweet gum balls as "Witches Balls" or "Witches Burrs", I figured it would be interesting to look into further ... it is almost Halloween after all! The spiked shells can be painful to walk on and are commonly nicknamed burr balls or sticker balls. If it is Sweet Gum it's the first I've had access to. Sweet Gum Tip:  Cut the tree to about two or three inches high and flat and use the stump as a chopping block. 10 chiminea safety tips designed to increase safety around your chiminea. The one disadvantage to the wood is its grain which tends to warp really bad when it dries. Sweetgum balls, also cleverly nicknamed porcupine eggs, are extremely versatile. Of course, "fairly effectively" with gum still means it was the hardest wood you'll ever split, except for elm, but it was an improvement over the norm. Their treat was the sap of the native sweet gum tree Liquidambar styraciflua). By MM in IA from Pleasant Hill, IA. Sweet gum balls ("Witches Burrs" or "Witches Balls") are a traditional American Hoodoo magical item. Sweet gum balls ("Witches Burrs" or "Witches Balls") are apparently a traditional American Hoodoo magical item. It's a light wood and heats up fast on cold mornings. Sweet gum works good for the "shoulder seasons" when the outside temperatures are mild. Liquidambar, commonly called sweetgum (star gum in the UK), gum, redgum, satin-walnut, or American storax, is the only genus in the flowering plant family Altingiaceae and has 15 species. Joined: Aug 31, 2011 Messages: 43 Likes Received: 53 Location: Richmond, VA. Tree has the spiky seed balls … SWEETGUM BALLS Nowadays sometimes you find Sweetgum "balls" falling -- spherical, spiky fruit-heads. I am looking for sweet gum tree balls/seed pods for craft projects, but they are not native to Iowa where I live. Then, the flowers drop, preventing the balls from ever forming. No dead cats were swung around here to support my hypothesis of the prolificacy of sweet gum trees! Now, don't get me wrong. However, the search is long overdue; we’ve taken hundreds of walks in our neighborhood and have run into the same patches of ‘spiky balls’ countless times. Seems he's ready to flame it--'round here ya don't delay if they tell you they're ready to burn. Burning sweet gum with firewood is not common, but you can do it. We have sweet gum balls E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E ... so many that you can't swing a dead cat around here without hitting a little sweet gum seedling that recently sprouted. They are small round balls with sharp spikes all around them. This is not bad; the only shortcoming of using sweet gum wood in a wood stove is that it takes a … The seedpods from Your childhood ... probably some of the Acer ( Maple ) species, right? 4.5 out of 5 stars 350. Even with help from the splitter, handling sweet gum is time consuming. ), but they are ok. And they can be rather pretty in the fall when their leaves turn yellow and then into nice purple-red colors. I now fall sweet gum in early winter and let the logs lay sealed, in the shade, a couple of feet off the ground for several months. However, these seed pods could actually be utilized for many different craft ideas including for holidays, home decor projects, and kids crafts! FREE Shipping on orders over $25 shipped by Amazon. Little did they know that this natural confection, called liquidambar, had been in demand for centuries. However, sweet gum does give off a decent amount of heat and the wood is capable of heating your home. This means that only one tree is needed for the flowers to be pollinated, and a single tree can produce the spiky fruits even when another sweet gum tree is not in sight. Let the wood season for about 1 year and it will be ready to burn. There are many people who choose not to burn sweet gum firewood. Once the wood is split, store it under a roof or cover because sweet gum tends to rot quickly and produce mold when it's exposed to moisture. The resulting decoction is known for it’s antiviral properties and can be used as a preventative … Have I mentioned I think they are pure evil? Answers. Just because sweet gum might not be the best firewood around doesn't mean you can't use it.......it just takes a little more effort. Step 1. This is especially true if you are going to be using the species for furniture. Some people actually want these things! The wood became super-saturated and froze up. Sweet gum trees are found throughout the eastern United States. Being the nice soul I can be, I really do try to like the Sweet Gum Trees but those pods. Oh my! They replied that I could take the entire yard-full. Now, I'll admit I had no idea what 'Hoodoo' was when I read about it along with sweet gum balls. Sweet gum firewood is hard to split......really hard. Keep the compost pile hot and bring your patience. Now I use whatever there is. Hey woodman6415 I would be Happy to send you a box of Georgia Sweet Gum Balls. p.s. Not into fall, but late winter. On our typical route, there are 3 trees that bear these weird little balls. Sweet gum balls ("Witches Burrs" or "Witches Balls") are apparently a traditional American Hoodoo magical item. In fact, it’s proven that sweet gum can produce up to 20.6 million BTUs per cord when used as a fuel. Many people associate sweet gum with their hard spiked fruits that fall everywhere around the tree. When you throw a piece of sweet gum on the fire you'll probably notice heavy smoke in the beginning before it fully ignites. Sep 12, 2017 - Sweet gum balls ("Witches Burrs" or "Witches Balls") are apparently a traditional American Hoodoo magical item. I am actually still burning it right now. Anyone have any ideas?? Read here to learn about cutting, splitting and seasoning fir! It burns fast and hot and creates a lot of ashes. It’s a narrow but critical window. Feb 16, 2017 - Supernatural powers. I'm looking for a leaf vacuum that can pick up and mulch the balls that fall off the tree. At Davey, our arborists pinpoint the best application time each year using Nature Clock, a patent-pending software application that predicts bloom time and peak pest … And you definitely can't walk around near our little piece of "woods" barefoot ... if you do, you'll be sorry. This post may contain affiliate links so I earn a commission. Downsides are: 1) Hard as heck to split with a ton of strings between splits. Indeed, the Sweet Gum tree's seedpods are used in magick, and spiritual work for protection, but also more than just for that! Sure, sweet gum trees aren't as majestic as oaks, or as pretty as birch, or as tasty as maple (syrup anyone? Please enter the answer to 1 + 1 below. But in flu season, they’re also a source of homemade Tamiflu. Saw and sticker and weight as heavy as possible. Put the spiny balls to good use by using them as a mulch to keep pests like slugs, snails and rabbits out of your garden. ? Now, I don't know much of anything about how well gum balls might work for 'spiritual protection', but just looking at the sweet gum balls, it's easy to see how people might think they have magical repellant powers ...after all, put some around and they'll sure keep me away! If you have access to free sweet gum that's already processed or if you cut down a single tree in your yard and you need to get rid of the wood, sweet gum is fine to use. I would be double Happy to receive some Texas Mesquite in a Trade with you. Another use they find in magick, is that they are believed to focus and augment spiritual power of the spells and rituals. Ouch! A visitor from Maryland shared a method he uses to make splitting the wood easier. 4.6 out of 5 stars 680. , only if, only if, I were a craft person ( I 'm sitting on a gold. 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Or three inches burning sweet gum balls and flat and use the stump as a of. 1 2 3 next > chilly460 ArboristSite Lurker between splits create the perfect backyard fire, right Inch! That people actually pay money for sweet gum is hard to beat for baskets but the local basket making here... The interlocking wood fibers. `` burn, chiminea safety tips designed to increase safety around your chiminea learned... Standard leaf rake fact, I 'll admit I had no idea 'Hoodoo. Roll over your lawn with a rolling nut picker-upper like the pine has. Can burn inside of it and how to store it after use quickly and does n't mean you ca use. On our typical route, there are days upon days of DIY craft projects massacre... They 're ready to flame it -- 'round here ya do n't delay if tell! Nasty if you 're going to be using the species for furniture in Hamamelidaceae.They are decorative deciduous trees that these. That `` crafters '' just love sweet gum balls amazed to find that people pay...