Liquidambar styraciflua

 

Sweetgum                                          

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Franklin and Marshall College, 637 College Avenue, Lancaster PA (near Distler Hall)

 

As a successor to the now-fallen White Ash that served as Franklin and Marshall College's "protest tree" for five decades (see White Ash entry), this large Sweetgum stands just 40 feet away from that earlier tree's spot.  The tree -- to borrow words spoken about its predecessor -- serves "as the signpost for student conviction and free expression of ideas."  The issue addressed by student posters  during Fall 2018 was transgender rights.

 

This amazing species is strictly a temperate climate tree, yet one specimen is currently thriving in the humid, tropical city of Bangkok, Thailand.