Sumac Trees – Here’s an Invasive Version

My wife and I were under attack from Sumac Trees.

There’s 35 species of Sumac Trees/Bushes. Staghorn Sumac Trees are good, one is growing in the back yard, we might move it while it’s tiny, but it’s a good tree to have.

Alas, there’s Poison Sumac, we were concerned there was one behind our house, but photos and emails to the Pennsylvania State Agricultural Department at the University revealed they usually only grow in Swampy Areas. So, we had two types of Sumac nearby, the one I mentioned originally, which is good, and the other ironically named “The Tree of Heaven” Sumac, which is bad.

The Last Image Above, in the Lower Right, is a young Staghorn Sumac, this is the good one to grow in the U.S., a Native, Interesting, Non-Invasive Tree. 

Tree of Heaven Sumacs:

1. Smell awful for a few weeks, the heavy Sumac smell most of us know.
2. Are invasive, they’re from China.
3. They poison nearby trees, in a subtle way, so that the trees die off, letting the sun more fully illuminate the Tree of Heaven Sumac.
4. Grow like weeds. Cut them down, they’ll regrow in other areas from the existing root system.
5. They produce 325,000 Seed Pods per Tree, they look rather like Maple Tree Seeds, but new Tree of Heaven trees will start to look like grass if they take root, spreading their misery year after year.
6. Pennsylvania is just starting to become infected by the “Spotted Lantern Fly”, another invasive species from, Drum Roll Please….China. They nest on trees in such a way that it kills the tree. The only positive thing is that their preferred habitat is, 2nd Drum Roll Please…..The Tree of Heaven Sumac Trees. Some areas are proactively removing Tree of Heaven Sumac Trees because it’ll attract the Spotted Lantern Fly. I doubt the town I’m in is that progressive.

After modest rain, and a few days, the smell of the Tree of Heaven is gradually subsiding, we can again open the windows, turn off the AC, and enjoy Late Spring, Early Summer. If these trees grow near you, terminate their lives with extreme prejudice. Be sure you’re killing the right one, I’ve included photos. Consider researching Sumac, I’ve only addressed three. The Staghorn Sumac is as American as Apple Pie, it’s indigenous, it always was in the U.S., it’s beneficial for the environment. But the Tree of Heaven is pure heII.

Click on the following link for more:

Tree of Heaven: A Devil in Disguise


Some trees are male or female, Ginkgo Trees for instance. It’s against many local ordinances to have a female Ginkgo Tree. At about 15 years old, they produce a fruit that drops off, as fruit does, and it smells awful. I’ve happened across a female Ginkgo tree after dropping fruit, and it’s really really a bad smell. You can grow the male tree though. How do you get a male tree, you might ask?

“Each ginkgo tree is dioecious, meaning each plant has flowers of only one sex.
The only way to determine the sex of a ginkgo tree is to wait until the plants bloom. Male trees will produce an abundance of pollen in the spring.

Female flowers will have a single pistil in each flower.

Many trees produced at nurseries are grafted male trees. Buds are removed from male trees and grafted on to the rootstock of a seedling ginkgo, eventually becoming the top growth. Tree will usually be marked as “grafted male trees”.”

Once they’re a certain age, it’s easy to see if they’re male or female, then the above technique is applied.

Author: Dr-Artaud

A Doctor that is not a Doctor, but named after a character in the movie "No Such Thing", as is the Avatar.

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