Palo Alto Sweetgum Tree

As low as $59.99 was $99.99
Availability: In stock

If you want magnificent fall color and a slender growth habit, the Palo Alto Liquidambar is a wonderful selection! Palo Alto Liquidambar (Liquidambar styraciflua 'Palo Alto') is a rugged, tall, and narrow tree that is perfect for smaller lot sizes.

Textured bark brings interest year-round and the persistent spikey seedballs add fall and winter interest. But it's the spectacular fall color that sets the Palo Alto into a class of its own. Every star-shaped leaf is painted with a unique, but deeply intense mix of deep color, from dark glossy reds, to bright orange and brilliant yellows.

Once the temperatures start to drop, the autumn foliage color display starts and continues well into the fall. This variety was specifically selected for its ability to produce brilliant color in milder climates in USDA growing zones 6 to 9. You'll notice people slow down as they drive past, so they can get a second and third look!

Planting and Application:

You'll see these native cultivars in city parks where plants are expected to perform beautifully without much care! This popular selection is an urban-friendly shade tree that brings you relief from the hot afternoon sun. Shade entertainment areas and cast cooling relief over your garden beds and borders with these showy trees!

Palo Alto Sweetgum looks fantastic on a raised berm, in naturalized-looking groupings, but will also work well along a creek or pond because Sweetgum can handle moister soil once established. Create groupings and raise these smaller trees into naturalized clusters on berms to show them off best.

  • Star-Shaped Foliage & Spring Flower Clusters
  • Slender Form
  • Beautiful Fall Colors!
  • Wildlife-Friendly Persistent Seedballs
  • Perfect Accent Tree, Shade & Specimens

#ProPlantTips for Care:

It's also worth noting that the Palo Alto Liquidambar is almost pest and disease-free and easy to grow and care for. Best in full sun, Sweetgum grows ideally in well-drained, moist, and slightly acidic. However, it is adaptable to average soils that drain well and can tolerate wetter soils and periodic drought for a short time, including salt, alkaline, and clay sites. Establish your tree with careful watering. Thereafter, water regularly to protect your investment.

Apply a 3-4 inch deep layer of pine bark or pine straw mulch to young trees, and spread it three feet outside the canopy. Spread the mulch out further for mature trees to keep the spiked seedpods from getting into the lawn. You will find that your Sweetgum has such a great form you will need to do little or no pruning.

  • Tough & Pretty Full Sun Deciduous Tree
  • Tolerates Periodically Wet & Dry Well-Drained Soils
  • Wide Range of Well-Drained Soil Conditions
  • Pruning Best Done In Spring
  • Pest Resistant, Salt & Clay Conditions
  • Easy Care & Pest & Disease Resistant

Order your Palo Alto Sweetgum Tree today from Nature Hills and order quickly! People are hunting for this gorgeously modern shade tree!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

Click Here to learn more

Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
4 Now
5 Now
6 Now
7 Now
8 Now
9 Now
10 Now
11 Now

Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates

Beautiful Native Variety

Liquidambars are a widely distributed long-lived native tree. Commonly known as Sweetgums, they have been an important source of flavorings, perfumes and folk medicines; as well as a wood source for lumber and veneers.

Palo Alto Liquidambar was the first of the 3 Liquidambar selections released by the Saratoga Horticultural Institute in 1952. Over the years Palo Alto has proved to be the favorite of these wonderful fall coloring trees.

These specially selected trees were improvements over the typically planted Sweetgum seedlings. Palo Alto Liquidambar was the hardiest of all the varietals, growing well in Zones 5 through 10.


Palo Alto Sweetgum Tree Is Suited to Grow in Zones 6-9
Growing Zones 6-9
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Liquidambar styraciflua 'Palo Alto'
Type Deciduous
Mature Height 40 - 45 feet
Mature Spread 15 - 20 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Adaptable Well-Drained
Moisture Moderate to High Moisture
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color Yellowish
Foliage Deciduous
Foliage Color Green
Fall Color Orange, Red
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Pruning Time Early Spring