The Q&A Archives: Getting rid of sumacs

Question: Is there anything that I can do (other than simply hand pulling) to get rid of stray sumacs? Kim Ovelman Danville, PA

Answer: Sumac is a very hardy, tenacious weed/shrub and it will be difficult to eliminate it from your garden. If you want to start all over, and it is appropriate for your site, you could have a contractor come in and cut down/dig up/till the area. But this isa drastic, expensive endeavor, and it's likely that you will still get more shoots coming up from any roots left behind. Perhaps the best thing to do is to simply prune off the sumac shoots as soon as you see them emerge. Keep doing this throughout the growing season. It will take a while, even a few years, but it will eventually deplete the nutrient stores in the sumac's root system.

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