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Liquidambar Styraciflua Golden Treasure, or as it is more commonly known, Sweetgum Golden Treasure, is a beautiful deciduous tree with variegated foliage. Slow-growing and fairly small when it develops, this highly ornamental tree is an ideal specimen tree for smaller gardens.
Although Sweetgum is already known as an attractive, ornamental tree, the Golden Treasure variety has a particularly striking attribute in the form of variegated foliage. The 5-lobed leaves with shades of golden yellow on the outer margin and rich green on the inner leaf provide interest for the better part of the year. In the fall, the variegated leaves turn to shades of red, orange and deep pink. Naturally grown in a conical shape, Liquidambar Golden Treasure can be easily trimmed to have a rounded crown.
Versatile and tolerant, Liquidambar Styraciflua Golden Treasure prefers lime-free, moist but well-drained soil that is medium fertile. To encourage vivid foliage colour, add mulch or peat around the roots of this deciduous tree. This cultivar will thrive in both full sun and partial shade.
Liquidambar Golden Treasure will grow very slowly. This is precisely what makes it ideal for gardens with limited space. Even after 10 years, when it is fully developed, Liquidambar Styraciflua Golden Treasure is circa 5 metres tall, with a crown of 2 to 4 metres wide.
Generally pest and disease free, this robust cultivar will survive even in areas where temperatures drop 20 degrees below zero. Liquidambar Styraciflua Golden Treasure is fully hardy in the United Kingdom and doesn’t require shelter from frost. When it comes to pruning, this deciduous tree is easy to keep in beautiful shape. Trim it to achieve a desired form while it’s still developing and, when mature, just prune out any unwanted stems or branches.
With showy, variegated foliage and compact size, Sweetgum Golden Treasure works well in mixed borders or as a specimen tree. The green leaves edged with soft, butter yellow keep their brilliant colours throughout the growing season, providing interest from spring through to late autumn, when they turn to warm tones of orange and red. Pair it with flowering shrubs that will complement its striking foliage, or underplant it with low-growing perennials.
In addition to Sweetgum Golden Treasure, more interesting small trees for smaller gardens include Weeping Silver Birch, Acer Palmatum Dissectum Garnet or evergreen Magnolia Grandiflora Little Gem.