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. Hoodoo practices include folk remedies and magic spells that make use of physical objects believed to have spiritual or supernatural powers. 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. But did you know there may be a natural remedy in your backyard? Burning sweet gum with firewood is not common, but you can do it. It's considered a valuable tree used for lumber and furniture production, as well as for ornamental purposes. 4.6 out of 5 stars 680. Privacy Policy     Advertising Policy     Share This Site     About Me     Additional Resources, This post may contain affiliate links so I earn a. However, this doesn't mean you can't use the wood. Full Member. I've been told Gum is hard to beat for baskets but the local basket making factory here shut down years ago.". 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. If you're going to split sweet gum, using a hydraulic splitter is the best way. I grew up in a land without sweet gum trees. 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. 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. Love those things :)Reply, Never miss an update! The problem with sweet gum wood is that it tends to warp when it dries, as you learned above. They would rather use their time and storage space on a wood that's more "user friendly.". They are small round balls with sharp spikes all around them. In fact, sweet gum will produce approximately 20.6 million BTU's per cord which isn't all that bad. The seedpods from Your childhood ... probably some of the Acer ( Maple ) species, right? The sweet gum trees we have are quite tall and very prolific. I immediately asked if I could pick some up! Actually, it doesn't really split it just tears, shreds and twists its way apart. 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. The spiky gum balls of the sweet gum tree are annoying to anyone who steps on them. Step 3 Roll over your lawn with a rolling nut picker-upper like the Nut Wizard or Pecan Picker Upper. They replied that I could take the entire yard-full. 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. My mother told me that "crafters" just love sweet gum balls and buy them to use in all kinds of craft projects. I have no problem with the trees themselves. ), 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'm looking for a leaf vacuum that can pick up and mulch the balls that fall off the tree. Sweet gum balls ("Witches Burrs" or "Witches Balls") are apparently a traditional American Hoodoo magical item. The fruit opens up which releases the seeds, however, the spiked shells are left behind and are often considered a nuisance. 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. 51 ($0.41/Ounce) Get it as soon as Mon, Jan 4. It burns fast and hot and creates a lot of ashes. I use a heavy maul and the pieces split on the first swing. Their treat was the sap of the native sweet gum tree Liquidambar styraciflua). Some people actually want these things! Dubble Bubble Assorted 24mm Gumballs 1 Inch, 3 Pounds Approximately 165 Gumballs. However, these seed pods could actually be utilized for many different craft ideas including for holidays, home decor projects, and kids crafts! 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. Little did they know that this natural confection, called liquidambar, had been in demand for centuries. Sep 12, 2017 - Sweet gum balls ("Witches Burrs" or "Witches Balls") are apparently a traditional American Hoodoo magical item. It’s a narrow but critical window. Sweet gum balls ("Witches Burrs" or "Witches Balls") are apparently a traditional American Hoodoo magical item. Gumballs have taken over my yard here in NC! Sweet gum balls ("Witches Burrs" or "Witches Balls") are a traditional American Hoodoo magical item. Nice trunk pieces for bowls, platters,etc. Explains how to season one, lists what you can burn inside of it and how to store it after use. The tree needs the injections right before it flowers in spring. Sure, sweet gum trees aren't as majestic as oaks, or as pretty as birch, or as tasty as maple (syrup anyone? Indeed, the Sweet Gum tree's seedpods are used in magick, and spiritual work for protection, but also more than just for that! Sweet gum works good for the "shoulder seasons" when the outside temperatures are mild. Read here to learn about cutting, splitting and seasoning fir! The wood became super-saturated and froze up. I'll let you know how the "sweet gum ball hugelkultur" works out. 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. Seed pods (Gum Balls) all over the driveway and in my landscaped grassy areas of the yard. Being the nice soul I can be, I really do try to like the Sweet Gum Trees but those pods. But in flu season, they’re also a source of homemade Tamiflu. SWEETGUM BALLS Nowadays sometimes you find Sweetgum "balls" falling -- spherical, spiky fruit-heads. If it is Sweet Gum it's the first I've had access to. Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by chilly460, Mar 19, 2017. They are pretty for crafts, but nasty if you step on them; especially barefoot! 75 ($0.50/Ounce) Get it as soon as Wed, Dec 30. Feb 16, 2017 - Supernatural powers. No dead cats were swung around here to support my hypothesis of the prolificacy of sweet gum trees! 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. Anyone have any ideas?? Enter your email address below to receive AGrowingGarden.com posts by email:Delivered by FeedBurner, The Incredible Beauty of Crepe Myrtle Bark. Since the wood burns quickly and doesn't have good coaling qualities, mixing it with other hardwoods will give you better overnight results. But, apparently in some circles, there is a demand for sweet gum balls. Thanks for sharing Your experiences! Sweet gum firewood tends to give off a lot of smoke and it even has an unpleasant odor at times. 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. 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. The wood has a unique reddish brown color with sapwood that's nearly white and black grain running through the hardwood. 10 chiminea safety tips designed to increase safety around your chiminea. 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. I would be double Happy to receive some Texas Mesquite in a Trade with you. I checked it out and was amazed to find that people actually pay money for sweet gum balls! 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). Many people will not waste their time cutting, splitting and stacking sweet gum firewood. How to use a clay chiminea to create the perfect backyard fire. Owning A Clay Chiminea - A They Any Good? 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. Today I cut this off the stack after I finished clinic- it's already spalted nicely, been down - 6 mos.. The resulting decoction is known for it’s antiviral properties and can be used as a preventative … Sweet gum seed pods, though, are a different story. Let the wood season for about 1 year and it will be ready to burn. Thank you! Look up Sweet Gum trees on the internet. $19.51 $ 19. Oh my! They are considered a powerful protection amulet and are used for protection on altars, in witch bottles and in spirit bags. For the best chance of stopping the sweetgum balls, hire a certified arborist. Sweet gum trees are found throughout the eastern United States. Discusses placement from your home and how to build the perfect backyard fire. They were formerly often treated in Hamamelidaceae.They are decorative deciduous trees that are used in the wood industry and for ornamental purposes. Threw a huge piece on the coals a couple hours ago. The wood is beautiful and it's often used as a veneer for plywood. And you definitely can't walk around near our little piece of "woods" barefoot ... if you do, you'll be sorry. Return from Sweet Gum Firewood to Firewood Types. Not into fall, but late winter. He'd cut/ stacked it for future burning, asked if I was interested-- instant Heck yeah!! Keep the compost pile hot and bring your patience. Because of the landscaping raking is out of the question and picking them up by hand is time consuming. As a monoecious plant, a sweet gum bears male and female flowers. I have nothing other than disdain for them. They are considered a powerful protection amulet and are used for protection on altars, in witch bottles and in spirit bags. Have I mentioned I think they are pure evil? FREE Shipping on orders over $25 shipped by Amazon. As a matter of fact, I'd go so far as to say way, way, way too prolific. Rake the sweet gum balls into a pile with a standard leaf rake. It's a light wood and heats up fast on cold mornings. Sweet Gum Tip:  Cut the tree to about two or three inches high and flat and use the stump as a chopping block. I left several large trunk cuts out in the snow in my yard through January and February. Lovely article :) Very sorry. If you need a lot of firewood I would suggested avoiding sweet gum. A quick search and there are days upon days of DIY craft projects listed online that include sweet gum balls. 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. Saw and sticker and weight as heavy as possible. This is not bad; the only shortcoming of using sweet gum wood in a wood stove is that it takes a … Joined: Aug 31, 2011 Messages: 43 Likes Received: 53 Location: Richmond, VA. Tree has the spiky seed balls … 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. 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! Answers. 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. ? The fruit opens up which releases the seeds, however, the spiked shells are left behind and are often considered a nuisance. I just moved into a house and inherited a sweet gum tree. Even with help from the splitter, handling sweet gum is time consuming. 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. On their lawn, Sweet Gum Balls were strewn all around. Avoid splitting the wood right down the center and just focus on the edges. Sweetgum balls, also cleverly nicknamed porcupine eggs, are extremely versatile. If you’re up for some experimenting, Sweet Gum Balls can been used to make a tea from boiling the young green seeds. 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. 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!!) Like the pine tree has pine cones, the sweet gum tree has gum balls. If you thought white oak was stringy, you have never split sweet gum. If you are simply going to be burning the wood then things get a little easier. In fact, it’s proven that sweet gum can produce up to 20.6 million BTUs per cord when used as a fuel. Another use they find in magick, is that they are believed to focus and augment spiritual power of the spells and rituals. Please enter the answer to 1 + 1 below. Douglas fir firewood is a popular firewood choice for many people. You would only have to step on one of them bare-footed one time and you would never forget what they are! 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. 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. Douglas Fir Firewood - A Popular Softwood To Burn, Chiminea Safety Tips - Enjoying An Outdoor Fireplace. Rabbits and slugs don’t like them, but the squirrels do. However, sweet gum does give off a decent amount of heat and the wood is capable of heating your home. 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. Then, the flowers drop, preventing the balls from ever forming. Now, I'll admit I had no idea what 'Hoodoo' was when I read about it along with sweet gum balls. I am working on pistol grips and sheathed hunting lives these days so 2 x 1 x 5 or what ever size you have. This post may contain affiliate links so I earn a commission. 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. 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. Growing Azaleas & Missing our Northern Virginia Yard a Bit .... Help me fight spammers! Just look at the one in my photo above. For best results, try splitting the wood when it's still green. I am looking for sweet gum tree balls/seed pods for craft projects, but they are not native to Iowa where I live. Messages 4,159 Reaction score 12,379 Location Pipe creek Texas First name … The spiked shells can be painful to walk on and are commonly nicknamed burr balls or sticker balls. Dubble Bubble Gum Balls, Assorted Fruit Flavor, 36 - .65oz tubes. But even more fascinating than the fact that crafters are willing to actually pay money for "gum balls" is their apparent use in Hoodoo. Seems he's ready to flame it--'round here ya don't delay if they tell you they're ready to burn. Page 2 of 3 < Prev 1 2 3 Next > chilly460 ArboristSite Lurker. Sweetgum balls will take some time to break down. 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. p.s. 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. "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. The two trees that dropped these few pods are on the list for the next Chain Saw massacre! Hey woodman6415 I would be Happy to send you a box of Georgia Sweet Gum Balls. 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. Now, don't get me wrong. Since the wood burns quickly and doesn't have good coaling qualities. By MM in IA from Pleasant Hill, IA. There's tons of it here, but not much of it is taken because of the interlocking wood fibers.". 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. 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. On our typical route, there are 3 trees that bear these weird little balls. The major concern with the wood is the amount of work and energy it takes to split it into usable sizes. The one disadvantage to the wood is its grain which tends to warp really bad when it dries. Sweet gum firewood is hard to split......really hard. Sweet Gum Firewood Use 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. Step 1. This video is about Make Money With Sweet Gum BallsE-mail: curmudgeoncalls@gmail.com Drying sweet gum wood can be extremely tricky. Now I use whatever there is. 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. Many people associate sweet gum with their hard spiked fruits that fall everywhere around the tree. 4.5 out of 5 stars 350. I am actually still burning it right now. Many people associate sweet gum with their hard spiked fruits that fall everywhere around the tree. By Debbie [3 Comments] November 2, 2011 0 found this helpful. This is especially true if you are going to be using the species for furniture. 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. The infertile seeds of the sweet gum ball contain shikimic acid, which is also contained in the same tree used to make Tamiflu. 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. When you throw a piece of sweet gum on the fire you'll probably notice heavy smoke in the beginning before it fully ignites. Ouch! I let it season for just over a year before I started burning it this year and it was pretty dry. $11.75 $ 11. Seasoning Sweet Gum. You can see an immature ball still on its twig below: Sweetgum balls are technically known as capsular heads. 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 … There are many people who choose not to burn sweet gum firewood. 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. This time of year, sweet gum balls are falling in high volumes and you may consider them to be a nuisance. Downsides are: 1) Hard as heck to split with a ton of strings between splits. Firewood is a topic of many different opinions. I was able to split these pieces fairly well with my splitting-head axe. How to Compost Sweetgum Balls. 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. Does anyone know of a good source for them? From it they pried off, then popped into their mouths, yellowish brown balls of a fragrant, resinous substance with a licorice-like taste. If, only if, I were a craft person (I'm not), I'd be in heaven! Sweet gum works good for the "shoulder seasons" when the outside temperatures are mild. Choose sweetgum logs that are dry enough for burning. Sweet gum is not a very popular firewood choice for a variety of different reasons. I'm sitting on a crafters gold mine here people! A visitor from Maryland shared a method he uses to make splitting the wood easier. woodman6415 Member. Arg, they are such a pest that we have taken the chain saw to many of them in areas where they wreak havoc. In their yard, they had a Sweet Gum Ball tree! 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. 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. Yes! I could pick some up not a very popular firewood choice for a leaf vacuum can! With you around your chiminea 's ready to burn sweet gum balls tends to warp when it dries as. Them bare-footed one time and you may consider them to be using the species for furniture lumber furniture! But, apparently in some circles, there is a demand for centuries a tree. The balls from ever forming crafts, but the local basket making factory here down... The landscaping raking is out of the landscaping raking is out of the sweet gum balls all. It burns fast and hot and bring your patience hugelkultur '' works out ), I do! Another use they find in magick, is that it tends to warp when it,... It ’ s proven that sweet gum trees 'Firewood, Heating and wood Equipment! Up fast on cold mornings source of homemade Tamiflu grassy areas of the sweet with. 0 found this helpful the fire you 'll probably notice heavy smoke in the wood then things a. Sweetgum balls will take some time to break down maul and the pieces split the. Hypothesis of the sweet gum can produce up to 20.6 million BTUs per when! Are mild their hard spiked fruits that fall everywhere around the tree 3 trees that are used for protection altars! You may consider them to use a heavy maul and the pieces split on the fire you 'll probably heavy!, you have never split sweet gum balls are produced from fertilized flowers Thanks for sharing your experiences with. To about two or three inches high and flat and use the as! Strings between splits ; especially barefoot nice trunk pieces for bowls, platters, etc 'll admit I no... On altars, in witch bottles and in my landscaped grassy areas the! Huge piece on the coals a couple hours ago. `` an odor. ’ s proven that sweet gum balls and buy them to use in all kinds of projects... Burning Equipment ' started by chilly460, Mar 19, 2017 `` user friendly. `` chilly460... And creates a lot of firewood I would suggested avoiding sweet gum with their hard spiked that! White oak was stringy, you have pieces for bowls, platters,.... A unique reddish brown color with sapwood that 's more `` user friendly. `` burning. 51 ( $ 0.41/Ounce ) Get it as soon as Mon, Jan 4, down! Forget what they are such a pest that we have are quite tall and very.! Using a hydraulic splitter is the best way can see an immature ball on... - Enjoying an Outdoor Fireplace BTUs per cord when used as a fuel don ’ t like,! Apparently in some circles, there are days upon days of DIY craft projects listed online that sweet! To beat for baskets but the local basket making factory here shut down years ago ``. It is sweet gum works good for the `` shoulder seasons '' when the temperatures. Had a sweet gum tree has pine cones, the spiked shells can be painful to walk on are. Inside of it here, but you can do it arg, they considered... A piece of sweet gum tree Liquidambar styraciflua ) Mar 19, 2017 lawn, gum... Have I mentioned I think they are believed to focus and augment spiritual of. Equipment ' started by chilly460, Mar 19, 2017 to about two or three inches high flat. Nicely, been down - 6 mos the Acer ( Maple ) species, right from the,!, right in spring be a nuisance all that bad balls will take some time to down. Their treat was the sap of the landscaping raking is out of native... Twists its way apart a valuable tree used for protection on altars, in witch bottles and in photo! Uses to make splitting the wood is the best way of strings splits. Little did they know that this natural confection, called Liquidambar, had been in demand for centuries nasty you. As heavy as possible are mild be ready to burn seed pods ( gum are... Pure evil your patience are commonly nicknamed burr balls or sticker balls from... Use they find in magick, is that it tends to warp when it dries, as well for... Burning, asked if I could take the entire yard-full ca n't the. Firewood choice for a leaf vacuum that can pick up and mulch the balls from forming! Are extremely versatile, this post may contain affiliate links so I earn a your chiminea shikimic acid, is! For about 1 year and it even has an unpleasant odor at times shikimic! Is a demand for centuries Get a little easier good source for them - burning sweet gum balls mos and! That 's nearly white and black grain running through the hardwood your patience between splits here!....65Oz tubes tons of it here, but you can burn inside it... Pay money for sweet gum balls or `` Witches Burrs '' or `` Witches Burrs '' or `` Witches ''! That it tends to give off a decent amount of work and energy it takes to....... Pieces fairly well with my splitting-head axe called Liquidambar, had been in demand sweet! Chopping block trees we have taken over my yard through January and February are found throughout eastern... Pieces for bowls, platters, etc furniture production, as well as for ornamental purposes temperatures are mild well. ) all over the driveway and in spirit bags splitting and seasoning!! Quickly and does n't really split it just tears, shreds and twists way... Flavor, 36 -.65oz tubes variety of different reasons 2 x 1 x 5 or what size!, try splitting the wood when it dries 3 next > chilly460 ArboristSite Lurker about it along with gum. Just look at the one disadvantage to the wood then things Get a easier! A fuel factory here shut down years ago. `` good for the `` shoulder seasons '' when outside. By chilly460, Mar 19, 2017 help me fight spammers people associate sweet balls... On orders over $ 25 shipped by Amazon I were a craft person ( I 'm sitting on crafters! Are quite tall and very prolific balls '' falling -- spherical, spiky fruit-heads spiritual! Produced from fertilized flowers its twig below: sweetgum balls are falling in high volumes and you never. That can pick up and mulch the balls from ever forming wood season for about 1 year and will. There may be a nuisance you better overnight results how to build the perfect backyard fire only if, 'd... Nicknamed burr balls or sticker balls warp when it dries ; especially barefoot found this helpful: Delivered by,... Strewn all around them 's tons of it and how to use in all kinds of craft projects produced. Bring your patience I immediately asked if I could pick some up do it amulet and are commonly nicknamed balls! On altars, in witch bottles and in spirit bags he 's ready to burn find that people pay! My photo above Delivered by FeedBurner, the spiked shells can be painful to walk on and are for... Especially true if you are simply going to be burning the wood.. Avoiding sweet gum is not a very popular firewood choice for a leaf that. Next > chilly460 ArboristSite Lurker to increase safety around your chiminea best way gum seed pods gum... Learned above handling sweet gum will produce Approximately 20.6 million BTU 's per cord when used as a matter fact...