Sumac Shrubs


Sumac Shrubs

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Find Sumac Shrubs At Nature Hills Nursery!

Vibrant color and dependability, Sumac Shrubs, botanically known as Rhus, belong to a family of plants that contain about 200 species. The Rhus family encompasses deciduous and evergreen plants and deciduous Sumacs are predominantly native here in the United States.

Several ornamental species are offered by Nature Hills! The ornamental Sumacs are loved in the landscape because of their graceful form, tropical foliage, fall color, and colorful fruit clusters. Not to mention their benefits to wildlife!

However, these super hardy native shrubs and have loads to offer throughout the year!

All About Sumac

Sumac bushes, sometimes spelled Sumach, botanically known as Rhus, belong to a family of plants that contain about 200 species. The Sumacs offered by Nature Hills are not poisonous like the similarly named Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix - previously known as Rhus vernix).

Beneficial insects seek out the sweet nectar from the terminal flower clusters that appear in spring. Usually white, cream, green, or yellow in color, the flowers are sought after by bees, beetles, and wasps as they gather pollen. The Fragrant Sumac is even a vital caterpillar host plant for 54 species of Lepidoptera larvae.

Often these trees and shrubs are dioecious, meaning that they develop male and female flowers on separate plants, and only the female plants produce the fruit. These pointed clusters remain persistent throughout the winter for fall and winter interest and bird food! The ring-necked pheasant, quail, wild turkey, and about 300 species of songbirds include Sumacs fruit in their diet.

People too can use the fruit, making a Lemonade-like drink called Sumac-ade from the fruit. The dried, ground fruit of Sumac is also used as a spice, popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. Lending a lemony flavor improves the taste of various salads and meat dishes.

Sumac has fuzzy new growth and gave rise to the Staghorn Sumacs name, due to the velvet-covered antler-like branches that can be smooth or hairy! Even the bark is covered with fine hairs that give it a velvety texture.

Most Sumac have pinnately compound leaves. The Fragrant Sumac, Gro-Low Sumac, and Autumn Amber Sumac stand out as having tri-lobed leaves that are aromatic when crushed!

Sumac Shrub and Tree Landscape Value

Sumac is a hardy shrub with no significant disease or insect problems. They are also tolerant of urban conditions and pollution, as seen in their widespread use along highways and in busy commercial landscapes.

Very cold-hardy throughout USDA growing zones 3 to 9, these shrubs handle a wide range of growing conditions! Growing in sunny, hot, dry conditions, and very poor soils, where other shrubs struggle. If you have thin, rocky soils or a steep slope on your property, cover the ground for you quickly!

Often forming an airy open shrub, colony, or tree form (with pruning), Sumac has an elegant multi-branched structure and can be trained into a very pleasing canopy with ease! Birds and wildlife appreciate the shelter the open branching and the ferny leaves provide.

The Sumac is your go-to for low-maintenance native landscaping!

  • Magnificent as Groundcover in Wide Open Areas
  • Suckering Native - Controls Erosion & Water Runoff on Slopes
  • En Masse Naturalizing Thickets
  • Rock Gardens, Hell Strips & Commercial Sites
  • Tolerates Thin Poor Soil & Drought Once Established
  • Trim Into Tree-Form Multi-Trunked Specimens
  • Wildlife, Bird & Pollinator Friendly Shrubs
  • Handles Pollution & Urban Environments With Ease
  • Cold Hardy Hedges For Privacy & Screening

The shallow root systems send up suckers and form polite colonies that are easy to control or encourage depending on how you wish to utilize your Sumac.

The textured bark and branching usually do a good job keeping deer at bay unless they're quite desperate.

Caring For Sumac Shrubs

Sumacs are hardy, tough plants that are easy to grow and have few pests to contend with. Sumacs preferred growing conditions are full sun, while other Sumac varieties handle partial shade. But all of them do best in well-drained soil and will even thrive in poor, rocky soil.

Sumacs are tolerant of slightly acid soil conditions and soil textures ranging from coarse to fine, preferring anything well-drained. Easy-to-care-for, tough-as-nails, and drought-tolerant once established, Sumac are very low-maintenance!

Prune Sumac in late winter or very early spring for shape and size if needed. If you'd like, you can rejuvenate these shrubs by cutting them back to the ground when dormant in the winter, however, this is not necessary to maintain a healthy stand of shrubs. You can also try renewal pruning by removing a third of the oldest growth every 3-5 years. Mow or trim back suckers if they are not desired each year.

Stunning Sumac Shrubs!

Wildlife and songbird-friendly, fiery fall color, showy flowers and fruit, plus gorgeous tropical foliage, the Sumac Shrub is hopefully going to be your new favorite native landscaping shrub! Order Sumac shrubs for your next landscaping project from today!

Nature Hills sells healthy, high-quality Sumac plants and we know you'll be very satisfied with these tough-as-nails shrubs! Click the photos to learn more, or call our plant experts at (402) 934-8116.