The Importance of Native Sumac

Numerous articles have been penned extolling the virtues of native plants.  The West Virgina Native Plant Society  has posted this article

Native Shrubs in wildlife landscaping

Exotics or invasive species squeeze out natives and diminish populations of both flora and fauna.

Terrestrial orchid flower Epipactis Helleborine  2
A Beautiful Invasive weed – Helleborine epipactis

In order to preserve our native ecosystems we need to recognize the importance of our natives.

Reflection of the sumac stand

This stand of sumac was a mass of shrubs when we became the caretakers of this farmstead.

3 flicker birds on sumac
Northern Flicker


We carefully thinned out the stand and today we have sumac trees which feed our native bird population.

Titmouse bird on sumac
Tuffed Titmouse


If you have Staghorn sumac growing on your property consider allowing them to reach their full potential.

Blue Jay  bird on sumac
Blue Jay



American robin bird on sumac in winter
American Robin


Both you and native wildlife will be rewarded!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on sumac
Ruby-throated Hummingbird


Downy Woodpecker on sumac
Downy Woodpecker


Ficker bird on sumac
Northern Flicker


16 thoughts on “The Importance of Native Sumac

  1. I’m glad you wrote this post. I’ve been wanting to get some wild sumac from a relative & have been hesitant because I didnt know if it would transpant well. I think in spring I will try it, I love all the birds it helps plus it’s a native. Do you know if it usually takes to being transplanted? I’ve wanted it because to me it’s beautiful & now there are two more reasons to enjoy it! Thank -you for another fine article. Julie

    1. Thank you, the only concern I have about planting sumac is that it throws out roots near the surface and those roots throw off shoots. You will need to cut those off but I feel a minor nuciinse compared to the reward.

  2. As a kid, my yard had tons of Sumac trees. My father decided it was a nuisance and cut it all out. I never would have realized that those red bundles of berries were edible to anyone if it weren’t for this blog. Have you got any tips for planting and cultivating?

    1. I know I’ve transplanted small plants and they have survived. The one problem with sumac is it throws out surface roots which sprout suckers. You need to keep these down if you don’t want a many in one one place! Good luck!

  3. I live in Lake Oswego, Oregon , I have a silver certified yard. I have a whole stand of Stag Horn Sumac that was here when I bought the house 22 years ago. I do not think they are native to my area but they sure are beautiful. I get some flickers in my yard but have never captured a photo like yours! I do have to keep them in check a bit and when they get too tall they can fall down.

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