Sweetgum tree balls are actually the fruits of the sweetgum tree. Sweetgum tree balls are spiky green balls that turn brown in color as they age. The balls are just over an inch in width and equipped with prickly points that facilitate the release of seeds.
Sweetgum fruits contain up to 50 seeds per fruit, which birds, squirrels and chipmunks eat. However, because they fall from the tree in large numbers and have sharp pointy ends that can cause injury. They often pose a nuisance to homeowners. Sweetgum trees do not generally produce seeds until they are about 20 years old.