Jack’s Walk

Sumac flower, ©voyager, all rights reserved

This is sumac and it grows wild just about everywhere in this part of the world. It fills the ditches lining our highways and roads and it’s a nuisance plant in gardens. It’s very hardy and once it gets growing it’s hard to stop. We had one park itself right next to the foundation of our house a few years ago and we just can’t get rid of it. Every year we cut it down only to find it sprouting again in a few weeks. We tried to dig it out once, but the roots were too plentiful and too deep and the next year it popped up again. I poured bleach on it one year and watched it die back and then watched it grow back the following year. As I said, very hardy. Despite my dislike for the sumac living at my house, I do think it’s a pretty plant and enjoy seeing them when driving. In the fall the leaves turn beautiful bright colours, mostly red, but with touches of yellow and orange. It’s one of the first plants to get its autumn colour on and it’s a sure sign that the big trees will be changing colour soon.


  1. busterggi says

    You can make a good herb tea from sumac berries, just make sure to strain out the tiny spiders & such. Tastes a lot like Red Zinger.

  2. jazzlet says

    They are beautiful pests.

    We have the same problem with ash, there is one persistent one in the crack between the concrete of the path to the side door and the house wall. We don’t let it get big, just large enough to get a good grip on so we can try, yet again, to pull the root out. We haven’t succeded yet.

  3. rq says

    They’re called vinegar trees here, no one ever knows what I mean when I say sumaks. Anyway, they have underground networking roots, so babbies are likely to pop up several meters from the parent plant. And yes, they’re a pest! Except every time I tell someone that, they wonder why -- because it is 100% decorative here. We have one by the driveway, which is a nice touch, but by all the NEGs it’s one annoying plant. It keeps sending up shoots in the raspberries.

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