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Gum trees

Making It Grow Radio Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Resin from trees in the spruce genus was the source of the first commercial gum in our country, State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum. Natural spruce gum is hard to chew, it starts as small, hard pellets and you chew and chew and hope you don’t pull your fillings out. William Wrigley started his fortune with spruce gum but as that supply dwindled, he switched to gum collected from south eastern long leaf and slash pines. You can find a few “natural chewing gums” today but probably ninety-nine plus percent of commercial chewing and bubble gums are made from polyisobutylene which is also used to make inner tubes. The gum we buy has food grade materials added to it, usually include the natural xylitol sugar. It’s fine for humans but can be fatal to dogs.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.