Sweetgum – Variegated Leaves
Q: On a bank behind the building where I work grows a sweet gum that has variegated leaves along with regular colored leaves. How does this happen in the wild? Could this be propagated somehow.
There’s already a similar sweet gum tree with variegated leaves on the market so I don’t think your tree is unique. But if the plant isn’t too big maybe you could replant it at your house. I can guarantee it will be the talk of the neighborhood!
Leaf variegation occurs when there is some sort of genetic damage done to the leaf buds on branch tips.
You can try to propagate 8 inch long cuttings of the tree starting in late May. Check my website notes on shrub propagation.