The fall leaves of sweetgum trees vary in color from purple to orange to yellow to red. Sweetgum trees have pointy, star-shaped leaves. Also pointy are the gumballs borne by most varieties, but most people consider these seed pods to be a nuisance to clean up after. Plant the 'Rotundiloba' cultivar of sweetgum tree, instead; it does not produce the gumballs. Don't let the "messy trees" label make you steer clear of sweetgum trees and lose out on enjoying their attractive fall leaves.
If you can't find a variety of sweetgum tree that doesn't drop gumballs, don't give up hope. Just plant your specimen somewhere out of the way (assuming you own a large enough property), where cleaning up after a downpour of gumballs is optional. Do not, however, plant your specimen in such an out-of-the-way spot as to deprive yourself of the very reason you wished to grow it, in the first place: namely, to gaze at the beauty of its fall leaves.