Self Healing

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I was quite surprised when I took a look at this Sweet Gum tree on my property.  It is close to my neighbor’s line and had a large hole in it.  The hold always seemed to be full of water and dripping liquid.  I was actually concerned it was rotting and worried it could fall on the neighbor’s house.  I had an arborist look at the Sweet Gum and he said it would be fine for now.

Apparently, it was healing itself with all that dripping fluid.  It went from a big hole to completely closed. If only I knew that was happening, I would have documented the healing.

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Another Sweet Gum on the property has a hollow hole and it has not healed itself.  It has provided refuge for opossum mothers and snakes.

The tree’s botanical name is Liquidambar styraciflua.  There was certainly a large quantity of liquid coming out of the wound.  The sap of the Sweet Gum tree can be dried and used for chewing gum. (Do your own research before trying.)  The sap was used for gum flavor into the 1920’s.

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The End and the Beginning

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Sweet Gum Tree

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Yaupon Holly

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Chinese Tallow

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The end of one season is the beginning of the next.  The leaves are gone, but the trees will decorate themselves with their hope for next season.  The seeds attract birds and squirrels that eat their fill and assist to disperse the rest.  As many plants rest, beauty can still be found in their end efforts.