Poision Sumac or staghorn?

Asked June 17, 2019, 6:56 AM EDT

Hi - I saw a new little shrub in my side garden this spring - not something I planted and I don't like it's current place. However before I pull it out I want to make sure it's not poison sumac rather than staghorn, and right now I can't tell the difference. I am extremely allergic so don't want to take any chances. Two photos are attached. It is not in a very wet area, but not dry either. Thanks, -Regina

Prince George's County Maryland plant identification invasive tree of heaven ailanthus normal growth sumac identification

2 Responses

This is neither. This is tree of heaven, or ailanthus, which is a foreign invasive plant. Leaves have a bad smell. Besides being a non-native invasive which damages natural and park areas, it is a preferred host of the newly invasive Spotted Lanternfly--an obnoxious pest insect you don't want to be drawing to your backyard.

Invasive species are very tough. Be sure you dig it up and get all the root. Otherwise, it may come back in multiples. Here's more: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/tree-heaven-ailanthus
If you see more in your community, you might want to warn the owners but simply cutting down a tree can just make it produce many more, so owners have to read up before they tackle it.

Ellen

This is neither. This is tree of heaven, or ailanthus, which is a foreign invasive plant. Leaves have a bad smell. Besides being a non-native invasive which damages natural and park areas, it is a preferred host of the newly invasive Spotted Lanternfly--an obnoxious pest insect you don't want to be drawing to your backyard.

Invasive species are very tough. Be sure you dig it up and get all the root. Otherwise, it may come back in multiples. Here's more: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/tree-heaven-ailanthus
If you see more in your community, you might want to warn the owners but simply cutting down a tree can just make it produce many more, so owners have to read up before they tackle it.

Ellen