Will This Make Me Itch???

Asked August 10, 2019, 8:06 PM EDT

This is everywhere in my friend's yard. Is it the itchy kind of sumac? Wondering because we want to remove some of it. Thanks!

Ocean County New Jersey plant identification

1 Response

It appears to be tree of heaven, Ailanthus altissima. You should wear gloves when handling tree of heaven although most people will not have a reaction to it. You can confirm that it is tree of heaven and not sumac by crushing a leaf to smell it. Sumacs have a pleasant, citrusy scent and tree of heaven leaves smell like burnt peanut butter. Most sumacs are not poisonous. You can read more about controlling tree of heaven here, https://extension.psu.edu/tree-of-heaven.