Liquid Amber, Liquidambar styraciflua, is a medium to large sized tree, growing anywhere from 30–50 feet tall in ornamental plantings and 150 feet tall in the wild.. Diameters reach 24-40 inches. Trees can live up to four centuries when excellent environmental conditions exist. This is one of the most significant hardwoods in the Southeastern USA. The gum resin, for which the tree is named, exudes from the bark of the tree when wounded. It has several names including liquid amber and copalm balsam. The resin may be clear, reddish, or yellow, with a pleasant smell like ambergris.
The earliest recorded record of Liquidambar styraciflua is in a work by Spanish naturalist Francisco Hernández that was published in 1651. Hernandez describes the species as a large tree producing a fragrant gum resembling liquid amber, whence the genus name Liquidambar. The unique compound fruit is hard, dry, and globose, and ranges from 1–1.5" inches in diameter. The fruits are commonly a nuisance as the liquid amber fruits are roughly the size of walnuts but may have several hundred spines. Liquid Amber wood is a bright reddish brown (with the sapwood nearly white) and may have black grain in the heartwood. It is heavy, straight, satiny, and close-grained, taking a beautiful polish.
This wood has been salvaged from a tree in California that had to be removed when the roots were lifting the sidewalk in front of it. This environmentally friendly specimen was not removed from a forest. A small sound pin knot or small knot may be present but these are 95% clear. All of the wood is freshly cut, wax sealed, and will need to be twice turned. This species is more susceptible to shrinkage, checking and distortion as it dries so we advise using this in a twice turned method within 30 to 60 days of receipt of the product. Also, please store the wood in a cool, dry place with no significant wind and no sunlight. These are huge sizes at an incredible value! As these pieces age some pieces will develop checks. We will contact you if we do not believe they will turn away. At this time the pieces are clean of checks unless otherwise stated.