Liquidambar styraciflua 'Lane Roberts' Tree

Sweet Gum Trees
  • From £49.99 (ex VAT)

A beautiful tree that is often planted purely for its vibrant autumn colours. Large, star shaped, lobed foliage is glossy green throughout the spring and summer before turning brilliant shades of red and purple in the autumn. The corky bark is fissured giving this tree the common name, the Alligator tree, an attribute popular with children who find great pleasure in creating bark rubbings. ‘Lane Roberts’ was named after a gynecologist who delivered two children both of whom became presidents of the RHS society.

Growing to 10 x 6 metres in 20 years, this tree has a broad, upright habit and is most deserving of a space in the garden.

AKA Sweet gum, Red gum, Satinwood. Alligator tree, Liquidambar styraciflua Lane Roberts

  • Common name: Sweet gum tree
  • Awards: RHS Award of Garden Merit
  • Height and spread in 20 years: 10 x 6 metres
  • Season of interest: Spring, Summer, Autumn
  • Foliage: Green, star-shaped leaves turn crimson in autumn
  • Soil: Best planted in moist, well-drained sites and suited to most soil types

Planting Advice for Liquidambar Styraciflua Lane Roberts trees

When planting Liquidambar trees, such as the sweet gum Lane Roberts tree, it is important to prepare the planting area well. Pot grown liquidambar trees can be planted at any time of the year. You will need to carry out the following to prepare your planting site.

Firstly, remove all weeds and grass within a metre of your desired planting hole then dig a hole as deep as your root mass and approximately 2x as wide. We recommend digging a square hole as this encourages the roots to grow straight as opposed to around inside the hole. To help your tree establish more effectively, we advise applying root grow (sprinkle in the hole for pot grown trees), especially if you have poor soil. Gently loosen the roots and place into the planting hole.

If your soil is poor, mix 50% of the original soil with 50% high quality compost, fill in the hole and firm around gently. Make sure not to bank the soil up around the collar of the tree as this can cause problems. To see how to use a tree stake and tie, watch our informational how to videos.

Aftercare Advice for Sweet Gum trees

If you’re planting in dry weather, water well and regularly for the first few months. The same goes for spring and summer planting. Make sure to keep an eye on your young tree and increase watering if there are extended periods of hot or dry weather. If you’re planting in autumn, you may only need to water your tree a little. We also stock a range of irrigation kits, suitable for a variety of planting schemes.

Once planted, it is important to keep the area free of competing weeds and grass for the first couple of growing seasons. Using a glyphosate based weed killer or installing mulch matting and bark chips will aid in this. Do not simply mow the grass around the area as this will only encourage it to grow more vigorously. A point to note, if you are mowing your grass, nearby a liquidambar tree, it is best to remove any seedballs first. These can cause a problem for the lawnmower blades. If you know your area is prone to rabbits, we would advise using a rabbit guard.

Pruning Advice for Liquidambar Styraciflua Lane Roberts trees

Sweet gum trees do not require regular pruning however you can still trim your liquidambar tree if it looks a little untidy. The ideal structure is for one central leader, so if you see any competing branches, remove the weakest along with any suckers. The best time of year to prune a liquidambar tree is between January and February.

Delivery Timescales

Most deliveries are made within a week of placing the order. All trees are carefully packed by our experienced team, with many despatched to our tried and tested couriers within 24 hours (please allow up to 10 days). There's no need to be in to receive your trees and you can request where they are left via the checkout.

There is a slightly longer timescale on pleached and mature trees (trees over 2.5m in height) because we group orders together by geographic area for specialist delivery - we will contact these customers to notify them of the delivery date and whether the delivery driver needs assistance.

Gift trees and those required by a specific date can be accommodated with pleasure, although we accept no legal responsibility for late deliveries.

Our nursery is a busy despatch centre, so please make an appointment to collect or view trees.  For collections, despatch charges will be refunded.

Delivery Costs

1 small tree (most trees with a height under 1.5 metres) : £7.95 + vat

1 medium tree (most trees 1.5-2 metres in height) or 2-4 small trees: £9.95 + vat

2+ medium trees or 5+ small trees: £12.95 + vat

1-4 large trees (trees too large to fit in a box): £19.95 + vat

Mature, pleached or 5+ large trees: Cost is calculated in the checkout process and varies by postcode. You can buy additional trees with no increase in delivery cost.

The above prices exclude the Scottish Highlands, where delivery starts from £24.95 + vat and is calculated in the checkout process.

Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and Non Mainland UK

Our courier charges are not viable for just one or two trees, but if you have a larger requirement then please do speak to us to see if we can find a solution.

Below are definitions of various forms, which refer to the shape of the tree defined by the pruning it has received. For more advice, please contact us.

Single Stem / Pruned and shaped: Classic shaped tree with a single stem that has had pruning to help create a beautiful, natural shape.

Top grafted: A height noted next to this form refers to the length of clear stem, which will not grow taller. Only the head of branches will develop. Top grafted trees do not require complicated pruning and are ideal for small spaces.

Multi Stem: A multi stem tree is has two or more stems arising from or near ground level, growing from one root system. Take care to buy a true multi-stem like all ours and not those that are 3 saplings in a pot to cheaply imitate them.

Feathered: A feathered tree has branches from the bottom of the trunk all the way up. These branches can be removed if a clear stem is required.

Bush: A plant with many stems low down, rather than one clear stem.

Climber: A plant that is a natural climber and will be delivered usually running up a bamboo cane, ready to position in the garden.

Standard Tree: A more mature tree with an upright clear stem of approximately 1.8m-2.0m (measured from the soil to the lowest branch), which supports a branched crown. Standards are available in different forms relating to their girth size (circumference of the stem measured 1m above soil level), not height.

Standard  either 6-10cm or 8-10cm girth, approximately 2.5-3.0m in height
Premium Standard  10-12cm girth, approximately 3.0-3.5m in height
Heavy Standard  12-14cm girth, approximately 3.5-4.5m in height
Extra Heavy Standard 14-16cm girth approximately 4.0-6m in height

The product table below gives the sizes and forms offered for this variety, along with photos you can enlarge (these are only a guideline as all plants are unique so vary slightly).

Plant Specification Form Supplied Size Root typePrice Quantity Qty
Liquidambar styraciflua 'Lane Roberts' Form: Pruned & Shaped Tree Supplied Size: 150-200cm Root type: 12L pot Liquidambar styraciflua 'Lane Roberts' Price £49.99 (ex VAT)
Pruned & Shaped Tree 150-200cm 12L pot £49.99 (ex VAT)
Liquidambar styraciflua 'Lane Roberts' Form: Premium Standard Tree, 10-12cm girth Supplied Size: approx 3.0-3.5m Root type: 45L pot Liquidambar styraciflua 'Lane Roberts' Price £179.99 (ex VAT)
Premium Standard Tree, 10-12cm girth approx 3.0-3.5m 45L pot £179.99 (ex VAT)
Liquidambar styraciflua 'Lane Roberts' Form: Heavy Standard Tree, 12-14cm girth Supplied Size: approx 3.5-4.5m Root type: 45L pot Liquidambar styraciflua 'Lane Roberts' Price £239.99 (ex VAT)
Heavy Standard Tree, 12-14cm girth approx 3.5-4.5m 45L pot £239.99 (ex VAT)
Liquidambar styraciflua 'Lane Roberts' Form: Extra Heavy Standard Tree, 14-16cm girth Supplied Size: approx 4.5-6.0m Root type: 55L pot Liquidambar styraciflua 'Lane Roberts' Price £289.99 (ex VAT)
Extra Heavy Standard Tree, 14-16cm girth approx 4.5-6.0m 55L pot £289.99 (ex VAT)
Total: £0.00 (VAT Free)