Smaller in stature than its close relative, Staghorn Sumac. It also has smooth twigs in contrast to the twigs of Staghorn Sumac that are covered in honey-colored bristly hairs (the hairs disappear on older wood). It flowers slightly later as well. The flowers of Smooth Sumac are exceedingly attractive to many native bees and other beneficial insects such as the Viceroy Butterfly shown here. The berries that develop on female trees are also smooth – in contrast to the furry berries of Staghorn Sumac. While birds do eat them, our feathered friends seem to prefer the berries of Staghorn Sumac. Like all sumacs, the fall foliage is a spectacular display of reddish orange to bright scarlet.
Updated 6 October 2021