How to cut staghorn sumac correctly

staghorn sumac
staghorn sumac

Staghorn sumac grow quickly and tend to sprout. If the tree grows too large, becomes bare or consists of a dense tangle of branches, you need to prune it. Here is how to prune staghorn sumac the right way.

As a multi-stemmed shrub, the staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) has something to offer in the garden all year round. The shoots of the woody plant are fluffy hairy in the spring. They grow in conspicuous branches, resembling deer antlers. Particularly striking are the fruit clusters, which develop in autumn and attract attention in a rich rust-red hue. In addition, the leaves turn yellow-orange to red and provide an intense play of colors.

The tree quickly occupies a lot of space for itself. It also forms runners that spread in the garden. Here is what to consider when pruning a staghorn sumac, and the most common questions answered in this regard.

Pruning staghorn sumac: This is what you should pay attention to

These plants are generally very vigorous and develop an oval crown. This does not require any special topiary. But there are some reasons why it is necessary to prune a staghorn sumac.

  • By thinning pruning, you ensure that light and air can once again reach the inside of the crown.
  • If the woody part of the tree is bare inside and at the bottom, the tree will send its energy far up into the crown. To counteract this, cut back the long shoots and remove anything that has dried out.
  • Also, pruning is advisable for plants that have simply grown too large for the garden.

It happens that the woody parts develops three or more new shoots at one cut. The fresh shoots are not very stable and susceptible to wind breakage. If you keep a staghorn sumac in a tub, the care is easier. Cut it back as often as you like, because it reliably sprouts again.

Tips for pruning a staghorn sumac

  • When pruning, set just above a bud and cut the branch at an angle.
  • Thin out shrubs that grow densely.
  • Remove branches that run crosswise.
  • Remove withered and stunted branches from the crown.
  • Cut off water shoots at any time and as deeply as possible.
  • If you want to reduce the sprouting of many new branches at one cut, apply tree wax.

The most frequently asked questions about staghorn sumac at a glance

How do staghorn sumacs grow?

The typical growth habit is multi-stemmed with a broad crown. The woody plant grows between 4 and 6 meters (12 and 18 ft) high and wide.

What to do if the staghorn sumac is too high?

If the woody plant becomes too tall, you can selectively cut it back.

When is the best time for pruning staghorn sumac?

The best time to prune a staghorn sumac is in the fall. If you miss the time, you can also prune it back in the spring before the next budding.

How to remove a staghorn sumac?

To completely remove the staghorn sumac, you need to dig it up with its roots spread on the surface. For this purpose, remove the soil, including the root system, to a depth of about 30 cm ( 12 in).

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