If you are one of many unlucky owners of a sweet gum tree, then you're probably frustrated with the sweet gum pods or "gum balls" that are impossible to pick up, damaging to a lawn mower, and generally annoying. Learn how to pick them up and make use of them.
Pick up sweet gum balls by hand. It's the only method that works. Each week, take a basket or bag and pick up any newly fallen gum balls by hand.
Use sweet gum balls as mulch or filler. If you have flower beds full of mulch, add sweet gum balls to the mulch. They don't rot fast, so they keep the bed covered.
Glue gum tree balls onto candle rings or over terra cotta planters.
Make a string bird feeder. String them together on jute, cover with peanut butter, and roll in birdseed.
Sell them on Ebay or Etsy as a craft material. Many people sell them by the pound.
Spray paint them and add glitter to create an ornament to hang on a Christmas tree.
Add them to the bottoms of planting pots to reduce the heft and the need for soil. Just include enough soil to cover the plant's roots.