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Red Gum & Liquidambar styraciflua
By Berley Firmin

Hello all:  I thought it might be of interest to mention this
little-known use for the sweet gum tree, or liquidambar.  This is
quoted from "Louisiana Trees", a booklet put out by the Louisiana
State University Cooperative Extension Service:

  "The wood is heavy, hard, close-grained but not durable on exposure
to weather or soil. The wood is used for flooring, interior finish and
veneers for baskets. The large red heart, from which it takes its
commercial name {Red Gum} has a beautiful grain and is much in demand
for furniture. It is usually made into veneer, often being sold for
Circassian Walnut. {!}  Nearly all southern children know this tree,
because of their fondness for chewing the gum which exudes from cuts
and hardens into tempting clear drops."

I often wondered where "Circassia" was!  As an aside, at an auction
that included a player piano, it was described by the auctioneer as
being made of solid Caucasian walnut!

Berley Firmin
La Combe, Louisiana

P.S.:  Happy Mardi Gras!

 [ Circassia is a region of the Caucasus mountains, thus Circassian
 [ walnut and Caucasian walnut are probably the same.  -- Robbie

(Message sent Fri 3 Mar 2000, 21:45:53 GMT, from time zone GMT-0600.)

Key Words in Subject:  Gum, Liquidambar, Red, styraciflua

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