Staghorn Sumac

All About Staghorn Sumac:

Scientific Nomenclature: Rhus typhina

Common Names: staghorn sumac, velvet sumac

Mature Height: 15–25 feet 

Mature Spread: 15–25 feet

Growth Rate: Fast

Attracts Wildlife: Birds, mammals and pollinators

Messiness: Leaves drop in autumn. Fruits ripen as small red berries that darken over time and drop throughout winter and early spring.

Shape: Spreading

Native to Kentucky: Yes

Preferred Soils: Often found in rocky, shallow soils with good drainage. Prefers acidic (<6.0pH) soils. While staghorn sumac tolerates urban conditions and most soils it won't tolerate a poorly drained site.

Screening: Not typically planted as a screening or privacy plant due to its tendency to spread if not maintained.

Drought Tolerance: Staghorn sumac is drought resistant and is typically tolerant of harsh conditions including urban conditions.

Coniferous or Deciduous: Deciduous

Pruning: Prune staghorn sumac to maintain its form as it suckers and forms colonies. It can be cut completely to just above ground level every few years to completely rejuvenate the plant.

Climate Quick Facts:

Following being planted as a sapling, over 20 years one staghorn sumac will:

  • Sequester ~807 pounds of CO2.
  • Reduce stormwater runoff by 268 gallons.