How to get rid of Sumac trees?

marcia7439July 22, 2007

I have a beautiful sumac tree. It has produced hundreds more. I have gone thru and cut and pulled these things, till I can't anymore! I am afraid if my husband goes at it with a chainsaw, I will have 1000's of new ones sprouting from the root system.

They are all sprouting from roots of the large tree.

Is there a good time to cut?

What can I put on the stump to kill off the root system?

It is not in an area I can burn....

I am sure it is not the poisonous type. No white berries...Just red cones.



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Killing woody plants (like trees and shrubs) requires an herbicide formulated for woody plants. Brush B Gon is one such product.

Some people have reported good results will doing it in the fall (when the plant is storing up reserves in the roots). Make a fresh cut to expose the cambium layer (the green layer just under the bark) and apply the herbicide to that area.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 6:18PM
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Esh Thanks !
I am at my wits end! I wish my grass grew as well!
Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 8:44PM
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I'm not sure what you're asking. Do you want to kill off your beautiful sumac tree?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 10:26AM
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Not really, just the other 1000 that it has growing on it's roots! If need be, the big one also.:-((
Got any ideas?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 5:37PM
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You likely will kill the parent tree if the babies you wish to kill are suckering off its roots. Herbicides translocate throughout the conjoined roots systems.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 7:37PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Turn the area underneath it into lawn and mow it. Or just mow it. It's easy and effective. Very, very few woody plants can handle that kind of continuous, radical pruning.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 10:09AM
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Or turn the area into a sumac thicket. That in itself looks beautiful.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 11:17AM
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You don't actually have to "turn" the area into a sumac thicket. If you let the mother tree live, the babies will follow. They turn themselves in the saplings you want to get rid of.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 11:52PM
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I can't let them grow,
The mother tree is on the edge of a rock garden. It's within in the rock garden area where all the little ones are growning.
PROBLEM IS: my septic tanks are in that garden. The garden hides the tanks from view, and there are a couple of small bushes, and some flowers, but if I let it go to a thicket, the tanks will be damaged along the way. $$ for new tanks isn't in my budget. I bought the place 2 years ago, and not knowing what was weeds or flowers, I let it 'go' last summer...thus the little sumacs got a good hold on growing.
This year, I got it weeded, and cut the saplings, but I now have 3 times as many growing. I'm out there every week, but those little guys are determined to grow! I am sure If I had planted them, they would have died a long time ago!
I took a spray bottle with round-up and sprayed most of them. They are turning yellow, but I am afraid the roses, etc, will die too.
Thanks for all the help! It really is appreciated!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 8:10AM
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Those who are amazed that you would want to remove your sumac tree have not lived under the curse of one. While they are fast growing and have wonderful fall color, it is impossible to keep the tree from completely taking over. I did have good luck removing one (thousands) in my yard. I cut the large tree down to the ground and then dug around the stump to the point where I could cut the roots and remove the stump. I made cuts into the ends of the remaining roots and applied large amounts of Ortho brush be gone to the exposed root ends. I left the "pit" open and repeated this process a couple of times. It has now been 5 years and I have not seen any signs of trees from sucker roots, now I just have to fight the seedlings starting from seed by birds from others still thriving in the area. While this was a huge project it was worth it. GOOD LUCK!!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 1:25PM
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More info is coming out all the time about the toxicity of Round-Up--how it creates superweeds, causes spontaneous abortions in animals, and is linked to cancers. It lingers in soil, contaminates water, etc.
I'd eat my sumac before I'd give a dime to Monsanto. Ditto with Ortho.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 1:25PM
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Sumac is one tree that I'm seriously considering using herbicide for. I think I'm getting ready to go the Brush-Be-gone route. It is worse than anything else I've ever struggled with, including Bermuda.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 12:38PM
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