View Full Version : Is Liquid Amber any good

16th Oct 2003, 08:32 AM
I've got a tree in my yard that I always thought was a canadian maple but Im told its a liquid amber which is supposed to be a noxious weed, therefore i'm allowed to rip the bastard out. (My council has a $20K tree preservation order on trees over 15m and psread of over 8m....)

Now this tree is a tree that the original owner planted in 1962 so its reasonably big (500mm diameter at base) and about 15m tall, straight as a gunbarrel.

is the wood good for anything - can I sell it if it is ?

16th Oct 2003, 09:11 AM
Sweetgum Liquidambar styraciflua Other common names: alligator tree, bilsted, redgum, sapgum, starleaf gum, liquidambar, hazel pine, and satin walnut.
Distribution: Grows in eastern half of United States.
Tree Data:
Timber Properties : Interlocked, irregular grain with a fine uniform texture and satiny luster. Reddish brown heartwood (sold as "redgum") and creamy white sapwood (sold as "sapgum"). Noted for figured grain which often forms a ribbon stripe. Rates moderate in hardness, weight, strength, stiffness, and shock resistance. Steam-bends poorly. Low decay resistance and dimensional stability.
Working Characteristics: Works quite easily with machine or hand tools. Holds screws and nails well without splitting. Glues, sands, stains and finishes easily.
Common Uses: Used for interior furniture, veneer, radio and other cabinets, trim, paneling, dowels, baskets, cases, crates, pallets, and crossties.
General : Often cut into veneer that is stained to simulate other woods such as cherry.

Toymaker Len
16th Oct 2003, 09:17 AM
Really good Zed, I've used lots of it. I think its what the yanks call 'hard maple'. It dries well, the bark sticks on, it cuts screws and sands well, its quite dense and strong. If you cut it down I wouldn't mind a load of the branches. That said, why would you cut down a tree that lets the light in during the winter, gives deep shade in the summer and turns all sorts of beautiful colours in autumn ?

16th Oct 2003, 09:56 AM
Well realistically I dont want to cut it down! BUT we are talking about getting development approval for dual occupancy for our land so the tree would have to go (as would 2x40 yr old english oaks & a paper bark) the oaks and ther paper bark attract the 20K tree preservation order but the liquid amber doen't as its considered a noxious weed.

I suppose I was just wondering if it would be any good to use as timber rather than cubing and wasting it.

If we cut it down you'd be welcome to as much of the branches as you want - no problems - all the trees are in an "easy fall area" so cutting them down would be no problem they would be left as long logs rather than short cubes theres no way I would waste the oak or paperbark timber!!!

you're right about the colours though they are a magnificent specimen of natural beauty - the colours are lovely - our local wild rosellas like to munch on the seeds too

thanks for the info - Im glad its not considered a "bad wood".

20th Oct 2003, 10:34 PM
This is an American article about what they call 'sweetgum' (liquidamber).


Of course it may grow a little different over there.


Sir Chiz
21st Oct 2003, 04:43 AM
The American maples fall under the genus "Acer",
with "hard maple" being Acer Saccharum.
Hard maple is the source for maple syrup.
The liquidambar or sweetgum,is not related.
Sweetgum has a Janka hardness of about 850,dry,
hard maple about 1450.