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Stags Horn Sumach - is there a non-invasive one?

I love the look of these trees but I also don't want to fall out with my neighbours by buying one that's going to send suckers out into their lawns (or mine). Is there a type that is less invasive? Or is there any way in which I can manage it? Will planting in a pot work?


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,166
    It's the nature of the plant to sucker, especially if you interfere in any way, like pruning or digging round the roots

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Far too vigorous for a pot.
    Will never be happy.

    To best of my knowledge they all sucker...very badly.
    We planted one in splendid isolation in the middle of grass so suckers would get mowed.
    It then popped up  over 20ft away in the middle of a flower bed.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • Ugh. Thank you nutcutlet and Silver surfer. This doesn't sound promising. It's such a shame. They make me happy to look at. Is there anything that looks remotely similar that might make me equally happy to look at do you know?
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,056
    Lots of shrubs and smaller trees will give you fabulous autumn colour without the invasive, suckering habit. A Japanese Acer, Nandina Domestica and Euonymous Alatus are three such I have in my garden. I also have my eye on a Liquidamber, either the Gum Ball or Pendulous varieties. I am sure someone soon will also extol the virtues of amalanchier too... :)
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,245
    If you really like it, try it in a large container - I'm sure you could keep it happy for many years if you looked after it. You can buy semi-mature specimens in pots so it must be possible. There are smaller versions like 'Tiger Eyes' which might be more suitable but to me they aren't as attractive as the species.

    In terms of alternatives, it depends what you like about the Rhus. If it's the lovely irregular multi-stem branching habit, you could look at multi-stem Prunus serrula, or Cercis canadensis.
  • The leaf shape and the autumn colour - it's the combination of those two that I'm looking for. A sorbus has the nice leaf. I like all the trees you've all suggested. But they lack something for me that the Rhus has and I don't know what. Can't put my finger on it.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,245
    That's Rhus I think
  • Sorbus aucuparia 'Autumn Spire' is gorgeous... if you prefer an even more feathery leaf, "Chinese Lace" might fit the bill.  And they don't sucker...   :)
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,214
    It has some nice weeds in with it too  :D
    How about Euonymous alatus instead of the Rhus? I see @Nollie has suggested that too. Lovely colour at this time of year. Acer is the obvious choice if you have the right conditions.
    A big solid container, going down [several feet  ;) ] into the ground might contain the rhus, but anything shallow or small wouldn't work. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,056
    Any size pot would need drainage holes and there is a risk it will send out suckers through those, but if you got one with drainage holes near the bottom but in the side, if anything pokes out you can quickly snip it off. I’m thinking of the huge black plastic ones that tree nurseries use. I have one that is 80cm tall and 70 cm wide, although this is a smaller one:

    You could always cut the handles off and clad the outside with wooden batons or something to make it look more attractive.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
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