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Shining Sumac

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Shining Sumac

Shining Sumac (Rhus copallinum), also known as winged sumac, shining sumac, dwarf sumac or flameleaf sumac is a flowering tree that is often used as an ornamental. The tree can grow 11-18 feet tall when it is fully matured. It belongs to the cashew family. It is especially prized for its lustrous green foliage that in the fall turns bright orange to deep red. Often it is used as a blocker to highways and other transportation since the dense foliage acts as a natural sound barrier as well as a visual one. The dense network of underground runners, as well as the attractive fragrance, makes it a popular attractor for birds as well as butterflies, squirrels, and other wildlife. The tiny greenish-yellow flowers appear in small, tightly packed bundles and are in abundance over the entire tree in blooming season. These flowers turn bright red as the season progresses and give way to small, brightly colored berries that can persist well into winter, acting as a source of food to continue to attract wildlife. While in the same family as the cashew the Shining Sumac does not give nuts. This tree likes to grow in a wide variety of climates and is well suited for almost all growing regions. Please note that this tree does have drooping branches which will require occasional pruning. The bark is not tolerant of damage, so this is not a tree you want to use near a high traffic area, it does accentuate well in an urban setting, however. Due to the relatively small size, it is a great choice for above ground and planter planting. Inner city applications can include rooftop terraces, median areas, and patios. It grows in full sun to part shade and is tolerant of a wide variety of soil types including clay, sand, loan, and well-drained soils. It is tolerant of acidic soil environments which can lead to interesting variations in flower and berry color. The drought tolerance is very high with this tree making a great choice for limited irrigation situations.

Shining Sumac

 

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