It’s Sweet Gum Ball time of year again and that means you may find yourself slipping on these prickly round seeds. Before you write them off as just a nuisance, consider these simple ways to utilize the Sweet Gum Ball Tree and it’s falling “fruit”.
It’s currently flu season, which means many people are home either recuperating from or avoiding this awful sickness. But did you know there may be a natural remedy in your backyard? The infertile seeds of the sweet gum ball contain shikimic acid, which is also contained in the same tree used to make Tamiflu. If you’re up for some experimenting, Sweet Gum Balls can been used to make a tea from boiling the young green seeds. The resulting decoction is known for it’s antiviral properties and can be used as a preventative measure against sickness, or as a remedy for the flu. (Consult your doctor if symptoms persist.)
Let’s not forget about the beauty of the Sweet Gum Ball Tree itself. This large tree provides shade in the summer, gorgeous orange, red, and yellow leaves in the fall, and is a great privacy barrier. The fruit it bears provides food for many animals including squirrels, wood ducks, whitetail deer, birds, and beavers.
These trees are also ideal for reforestation projects because they grow quickly and are resistant to insects. The wood is great for timber because of its gorgeous interlocked grain. It’s easy to shape, stain, and paint.
Overall, the Sweet Gum Ball Tree has much to offer. A Bag-A-Nut Sweet Gum Ball machine would easily pick up those pesky Sweet Gum Balls so you can utilize all these amazing benefits!