Poison Sumac or hickory?

Asked September 7, 2020, 8:43 PM EDT

Hi! I was walking my dog today and he walked through this shrub that grows on my lawn. we do not live near any marsh, bog, or swamp and this plant has been here for some time. I’m not sure if it is poison sumac or if it is some sort of hickory tree, such as the bitternut. I would really appreciate any help you’d be able to provide. I need to know whether or not I should bathe my dog and prep for a terrible rash or calmly watch a new tree grow.

Rockland County New York

1 Response

Looks like Carya cordiformis or bitternut hickory. It is native to the Eastern United States and grows in forested uplands as well as wet bottom-lands. Poison sumac can be variable in appearance but would typically have a red tinge to stem, smoother leaf margins and less spatulate terminal leaf shape. No itch to worry about!