Liquidambar (Liquidambar styraciflua)

Liquidambar, also known as American sweetgum, is native to the eastern US, Mexico and Central America. It has beautiful fall foliage and interesting, spiky seed pods.

This tree was purchased online from Schley’s Bonsai in 2015. See for a video showing the initial wiring of the tree.

February 15, 2021
The tree today.

March 27, 2015:
The tree as purchased, tentative front side.
March 27, 2015:
Tentative back side of tree.
March 28, 2015:
Initial repotting of tree into a large pot to encourage growth.
June 14, 2015:
First flush of new growth.
December 19, 2015:
Fall colors.
December 19, 2015:
Fall colors, opposite side.
January 16, 2016:
Hard branch-pruning after the first year.
September 18, 2016:
Second summer’s growth.
February 10, 2017
Tree structure visible after leaf fall.
February 10, 2017:
Tree structure opposite side.
January 7, 2018:
January 7, 2018:
March 11, 2018:
End of winter.
March 17, 2018:
Spring sprouts.
July 15, 2018:
Summer growth.
October 21, 2018:
Fall colors starting.
October 21, 2018:
Fall colors opposite side.
October 26, 2018:
Fall colors developing in the garden.
December 1, 2018:
Winter leaf loss, wired to pull major branch downwards on left side.
December 29, 2018:
Tree in winter garden.
December 31, 2018:
Root mass at year’s end.
December 31, 2018:
Root-pruned, repotted in smaller pot, with rocks placed to stabilize shallow roots.
January 4, 2019:
Tree with rocks removed to show aerial roots.
January 4, 2019:
Opposite side. The goal for the upcoming year will be to increase ramification by continuous trimming back of new growth tips.
November 17, 2019:
The tree in fall colors.
October 9, 2020
The tree in October with a distracting background.
February 13, 2021
Beginning a transformation from tree to beast.
February 13, 2021
Removal from pot.
February 13, 2021
Tentacle roots.
February 13, 2021
Room for growth in the new pot.
February 13, 2021
The Kraken!

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