At Native Forest Nursery we grow bare root seedlings and #3 container trees. Our container trees are grown in a #3 air pruned pot. This root making container eliminates nearly all potential for root wrapping. This allows for an excellent root structure and delivers an extremely healthy tree. The bare root seedlings at our nursery are grown in a sandy loam soil with high organic matter content, which provides an extremely healthy environment for our seedlings. Our bare root liners and seedlings are hand lifted, packaged, and kept in cold storage until you are ready to plant. Conservation uses for our products include reclamation, mitigation, reforestation, restoration, wildlife habitat improvement and wetland uses. Horticultural uses for our products include field liners, container liners, landscape plantings, budding stock, grafting stock and ornamental uses.

Family: Anacardiaceae
Latin Name: Rhus glabra
Foliage: Dark green
Fall Foliage: Orange and red
Bloom: Greenish-yellow
Bloom Time: June
Shape: Rounded to spreading
Bark: Gray
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Zone: Zone 3 to Zone 9
Size: 15 to 9 feet
Spread: 15 to 9 feet
Care: Medium, well drained soil

A member of the Anacardiaceae family, Rhus Glabra is prized for its exceptional autumn color, its bright flowers and fruits, and its vivid tapering leaves. A pioneering plant with a tendency to form colonies, the Smooth Sumac is the only American shrub that is native to all 48 contiguous states. It is widespread throughout the nation’s prairies, woodlands, thickets, limestone glades, roadside embankments, abandoned fields, and savannas. It is extremely hardy and aggressive, with the ability to recover from wildfires or even a tussle with the lawn mower, due to its extensive root system.

The Smooth Sumac’s height varies, stretching up to an average of 3-10 ft. with a spreading crown, though it’s been known to grow as high as 20 ft. tall. Typically featuring a single trunk with multiple leafy branches, this species can easily be cultivated as either a small tree or large shrub. It thrives in full to partial sun, and favors moist and dry soils alike. It has the capability to tolerate grounds with a greater than average pH—much more so than other sumac varieties can—and develops rapidly despite its short lifespan. It has an impressive 3-9 hardiness zone rating.

The Smooth Sumac’s leaves are alternate, compound, and glossy green, transforming to magnificent scarlet shades in the autumn. This specimen’s spring flowers are small and green, emerging in thick upright panicles. The tree’s trunk is short and rather picturesquely crooked, layered with its smooth grayish-brown bark. By summer, the Smooth Sumac has produced the brilliant crimson berries by which it is easily identified and for which it is so well known. Female plants produce numerous of these fruiting clusters; each berry-like piece is slightly downy, tinted red when ripe before its color fades to a wintry maroon-brown. The flowers and fruits attract a wide assortment of birds, butterflies, and other types of wildlife.

Mature Tree Photos: