Smooth Sumac Shrub
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- Latin Name- Rhus Aromatica Hardy Planting Zone- 3-9 Mature Height- 2-20 ft Width- 10-15 ft Sun or Shade- Prefers Full Sun to Partial Shade
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Here's how your plants will look on arrival. All plants are dormant with no leaves or foliage.
Smooth Sumac - Rhus glabra
Rhus glabra, known more commonly as smooth or scarlet sumac, is a widespread species of flowering shrubs that produce edible crimson berries with a citrusy taste. As a species of sumac plants, Rhus glabra belong to the family Anacardiaceae and are thus related to Anacardium occidentale, an unusual tropical evergreen tree that produces delicious cashews. Mature Rhus glabra can reach heights of around 3 meters with small leaves and even smaller flowers. For most of the year, Rhus glabra will appear to be green, but the leaves will turn scarlet in the fall, and the plant will retain its red fruit throughout the winter. Smooth sumac is a small, deciduous tree that has pyramid-shaped clusters of red berries in late summer. The species grows in all 48 contiguous states and is suitable for cultivation in Hardiness Zones 3 through 9.
Smooth sumac trees are drought tolerant, pest resistant and typically disease free. Smooth sumac grows well in a variety of soil types, including dry, sandy and moist soil, but thrives in dry, sandy soil or well-draining, gravely soil. This winter-hardy tree grows best in locations with full or partial sun exposure. Smooth sumac is fast-growing species, and colonies of flat sumac form quickly when the underground suckers are left undisturbed. In landscaping, the smooth sumac has a variety of uses. The vast, bushy canopy and tendency to form dense colonies make the tree ideal for privacy hedges and windbreaks, while the picturesque combinations of orange, red and purple foliage in autumn give the tree ornamental value.
Smooth sumac also has extensive, shallow branches that help control erosion on sloped land, dams or other erosion-prone areas. The bark on the tree's lower trunk is dark grey and appears flaky, while upper branches are smooth and reddish-brown. Smooth sumacs have multiple trunks, and new branches grow from the lateral branches rather than from the central chest. The tree has compound, alternate leaves with long tips and serrated edges. In winter, the tree is identifiable by its crooked central trunk and sympodial branching.