Sweetgum in West Fairmount Park

This mature sweetgum has been a part of our twice daily walk through the park for some years now. Its a one-of a kind up here on this piedmont plateau where Philadelphia’s Centennial Exposition of 1876 was located.

Most commonly found on the sandy soils of the coastal plain, this tree was most likely planted about 100 years ago.

It had a long and happy life up here. It was fun watching it through the seasons. It had a rotting trunk and I knew that eventually it would have to come down.

It got one more chance to leaf out.

With progress came the bittersweet. The Parkside Edge project, a much awaited infrastructure investment of Park amenities was initiated this spring and the tree was finally taken down.

While we may not have the pleasure of a sweetgum tree nearby, many more trees are being planted and the urban park lifecycle continues on.