The trees at Keele
We have over 150 species of tree on campus, not counting the 240 species and varieties of Flowering Cherry! Amongst them are many of our common native species as well as some more unusual ones. So, if you can't tell a Beech from a Birch or just want to know a bit more about them then read on!
Sweetgum Liquidamber styraciflua
Origin: a native of Eastern and Southern USA, it was introduced here in 1681. It is frequently planted in parks and gardens for its autumn colours - though these can be fickle at times!
Tree: young trees are conic or ovoid; older trees more domed. The bark is pale grey on young trees, later becoming fissured into squares and then becoming rough with a network of ridges.
The leaves are rather maple-like but are arranged alternately along the stem (on maples they are opposite).They have a resinous smell when crushed and in autumn turn a deep red. However, not all trees behave this way. The Keele specimen above has very poor autumn colours. If buying a tree it is important to do so in autumn when you can see the leaf colour.
Uses: its wood is imported as satin-walnut for furniture making.
Location : Just the one tree. It can be found between the Clock House and Keele Hall; compartment 27; square M10.