American sweetgum tree (fruit and fall foliage)

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American sweetgum trees (Liquidambar styraciflua) are among the last deciduous trees in the mid-Atlantic region to change color and drop their leaves. Seems like Mother Nature saved the best for last — Sweetgum trees go out in a blaze of glory! Leaves change color from green to yellow to red to a rich reddish-purple.

Photos 1-2 show Sweetgum tree “fruit”; Photo 2 shows the relative size of the fruit specimens. [Editor’s Note: The quarters used to show the relative size of the fruit specimens are approximately one inch (~1″) in diameter. See a schematic diagram of Sweetgum flowers and fruit.] Photos 1 and 3-6 show Sweetgum tree fall foliage. Photos 5-6 show a Sweetgum tree leaf, identified in situ using Leafsnap app (free) for Apple iOS mobile devices.

Tech Tips: The preceding photos were post-processed using Apple “Aperture,” a professional-grade tool for organizing and adjusting photos.

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