Staghorn sumac – botanical name rhus typhina – is an interesting structural element in the garden most of the year, and utterly spectacular in the fall.
This picture shows that the staghorn is – at least, mine was – a rather sparse tree. It was already here when I moved in, and I found that it was rather delicate – branches small and large came down with every bad storm. This picture was taken just a year and a half after I moved in, and it was already rather skimpy.
Unfortunately, it was putting all its energy into sending out suckers. Dozens of them.
Then in fall one forgot about the scantiness of limbs and branches and the suckering problem.
Incredible, isn’t it?
But as the years passed I got more and more frustrated with the amount of work necessary to keep the tree under control, and less enchanted by the fall display because I was no longer forgetting what an irritant the tree was.
This year, with my determination to renovate the yard, I made my decision – it had to come out. I’d had enough.
And in case you don’t believe me about how badly a staghorn sumac suckers, here’s proof. All these pictures were taken after the tree was removed. The suckers are anywhere from two feet to 20 feet from the parent plant. And even if you cut them off, you’re leaving behind the suckering root itself, which may or may not try to put up more shoots. I’m using everything in my arsenal, including Roundup Poison Ivy and Brush Killer, to get rid of them once and for all.
Sayonara, sumac. I don’t miss you a bit.
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