Sweet gum is the second in production only among oaks in hardwoods. The wood is used for flooring, furniture, veneers, home interiors and other lumber applications. The wood is also used as paper gulp in making baskets. Pioneers once pulled back the bark and stripped it of the gum like resin and used it as chewing gum.
Sweet gum is a favorite landscape tree. It provides beautiful color in the fall and a wonderful shade tree. It is easily recognized by its star-shaped leaves and its woody spiny like wooden fruit.
This is the seed pod that I took a picture of and thought it looked really cool. So, now I had to research it since I had no clue as to what it was.
You know, people collect these pods and make several crafts with them. They also can coat them in peanut butter and bird seeds and hang them in the yard for the birds.