Sweet Gum : Importance to Willdlife


The sweet gum tree is important to contribute towards shelter for animals because of its height. The fruit also provides food to small animals like birds, squirrels, and chipmunks, providing as a way to spread seeds for the tree. Some larger animals like the white-tailed deer, use the fruit as a browse, source of food, during the fall and winter. Sweet gum snags, a standing dead tree, are used as a breeding site for a variety of birds and mammals . As you can see, the sweet gum is important for the protection of forest wildlife as well as the continuation of animal life by providing a so called “breeding ground” .

The sweet gum is a major component in forest cover, especially in combination with oak and elm trees. Most young sweet gum trees sprout from the roots of previous trees that were cut. Up to forty young trees can sprout from a single large tree stump. Therefore, root removal is necessary if someone wanted to remove a sweet gum tree from his or her land. As mentioned earlier, it cannot tolerate shade so it only survives in conditions with other deciduous trees. If planted with pines and other conifers it will discontinue growth and eventually die because they will block sunlight from the sweet gum.