|Sweet Gum seed pods. New and old.|
My negative attitude soften a bit, when someone told me that these pods are used in crafts. I became intrigued. This was my second lesson. The craft world uses these pods in many ways. I have seen wreaths, pumpkins, ornaments made from these pods. Did you know that people actually sell them? Wow, maybe I have a gold mind in my front yard.
|My Fall center piece. Sweet gum pods, willow branches and Eucalyptus|
My third lesson. I found out that these trees have a long history in Herbal medicine. The oldest record of these trees dates back 55 million years ago. Many cultures have utilized the trees in medicinal practices. The sap and bark is traditionally used. They are used as incense, sleep aids, treating ailments from skin disorders, Ringworm,and when taken internally to help with coughs, and colds. The Sweet gum sap or resin has been used in the Southern states as a chewing gum.
My fourth lesson and last is that the pods have use in the garden. The pods provide a natural slug deterrent. Placing the pods around the base of your plants inhibits the slug's access. I have also layered the pods in my flower beds to stop feral cats from using them as a free litter box.
With all these wonderful uses, I no longer have such a negative attitude about the Sweet Gum. I have embraced them as one of my favorite trees. However, I may need a little reminder when I am out cleaning up their mess.
|Sweet Gum leaf.|