sumac male or female

c2g(6)September 5, 2013

So I had a volunteer staghorn sumac sprout up a year ago and I decided to keep it around. It's now about 15' tall and aside from having an appreciation for sumacs this time of year, it gave us somewhat of an instant privacy screen. I kind of like the layering it gives by branching above the serviceberry and button bush below.

After a year of growing, there are no fruit clumps. Is it safe to assume at this point that it's a male? I figure if I'm going to keep up on a sumac, it may as well be a female, so I'll replace it this fall unless there's a chance it can still be female.

(btw, an excavated pond is in the foreground and in between the button bush and sweetbay is going to be a mini vernal pool runoff area.)

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
esh_ga

The first question to ask is did it flower? Never any fruit without a flower as both males and females need to flower.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 10:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
c2g(6)

I don't recall seeing any flowering.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 11:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
esh_ga

Then yes there is still a chance that it is female.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 11:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lucky_p

You're sure it's sumac, and not Ailanthus?
I can't tell from the photo, but none of the sumacs here would have a single trunk that tall without some lower branching.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 12:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
esh_ga

Oh lucky_p, good point!! It is rather tall and unbranched, isn't it?

Check this link out - near the bottom are excellent leaf scar pictures and in my opinion is the best way to tell right now (without fruit or flowers) what you have. Pull off a leaf to get a fresh scar to examine.

Of course if you pull off the leaf then you have that to look at too and that can be quite distinctive ... :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Differences

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 1:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pteroceltis(z5 Syracuse)

The other plants next to it have the same growth habit; I'm guessing they are shaded. See that brilliant fleck of color in the branches? Premature senescence, and an aspect shared by many sumacs.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 10:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
beng(z6 western MD)

Lucky, partially-shaded smooth sumacs near my lot are much taller & skinnier than typical.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 10:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
katob Z6ish, NE Pa

When you're done checking out the leaf give it a crushing... If it stinks and makes you want to immediately wash the smell off your hands, then it's alianthus. I think it's sumac though. I have several with the single stem look. They grow quickly, kind of like..... weeds?
Jk, I keep mine for the same reason, near instant privacy along the fence while other stuff fills in.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 9:50AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Help choosing a fast-growing shade tree...
Hi there! I am a newbie when it comes to all things...
dancingal
Landscaping pine forest back yard
Hi, We have a house and the backyard is entire pine...
soc_jones
Does anyone on here have a Cercis canadensis - Eastern Redbud Tree?
I want to get a couple of them. Are they wind tolerant?...
ilovemytrees
2015 Midatlantic/SE/New England winter damage thread
I don't mean to exclude the midwest but I think for...
davidrt28 (zone 7)
Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production (3)
Continuing from part 1 and 2 (maximum posts reached) Good...
gardener365
Sponsored Products
Banja Dark Amber with Satin Nickel Fusion Jack Mini Pendant
Euro Style Lighting
98061-12 12V 100w Zero Load LED Transformer
$61.18 | PLFixtures
Female Snowboarder Ornament
$6.49 | zulily
Daily Reminder Terrarium
| Dot & Bo
'Beauty by The Sea' 5-panel Handmade Metal Wall Art
Overstock.com
Aluminum Shower Panel Tower Column System Jets
Hudson Reed
Electrical Tool Accessories: CabLED Power Supply Connector 300-C8KOPS-A0-A1
$4.97 | Home Depot
Graceful Form Indoor or Outdoor Fountain
Lamps Plus
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™