Stag's Horn Sumach tree

HELP!!!!!  Last year we cut down our 2 stag's horn trees and now we have hundreds of baby ones growing up through our lawns. They grow 10 times faster than the grass and so most of the time the lawns are looking a mess. Is there and way to destroy these without digging up the whole garden to get at the roots?

Please help. Sue


  • DaintinessDaintiness Posts: 949

    If you cut them down then you must have stumps. I would make cuts into the top of the stumps with a saw and then treat with brushwood killer, treating any top growth from the stumps too. Treating with glysophate would also do the trick. It would be difficult to treat all the off shoots without damaging the grass but rather than spraying them you could do them very carefully by hand. By wearing a rubber glove wetted with the weedkiller and then rubbing your hand/glove over the leaves you could hit the roots in even more places. The weedkiller is absorbed by the leaves and travels down to the roots. I hope this makes sense....I feel the heat has scrambled my brain today!

  • XX Posts: 707

    Hi sue, the best way to kill a tree is to remove a band of bark all the way around the trunk, width isn't drastically important but a couple of inches at least.  The reason this works is as follows - the tubes that carry food and water from leaves and roots run up and down the trunk of the tree just underneath the bark, the rest of the trunk apart from the part just under the bark is just wood and is effectively dead as all it provides for the tree is support. Removing a ring of bark cuts the tubes that feed the tree and therefore it dies.  There is no need for drilling holes, pouring chemicals into what is effectively a dead trunk anyway.  Obviously its a bit too late as you have lots of Sumach babies to deal with but if you want to kill a tree off in future....

    Here endeth the botany lesson for today!  image


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 12,119

    But if the trees are cut down then surely they are dead, but there are still suckers coming up? So wouldn't it be the same if they'd had the bark cut off? At least the weedkiller would go to the suckers via the roots.

  • XX Posts: 707

    Hi Busy-Lizzie, I can see how it works in principle and have seen a cherry tree die off after removing a bark ring, maybe more vigorous suckering trees like sumach would survive it, I don't know image

  • KEFKEF Posts: 8,915

    On Verdun's advice we dug ours out, I had thought I could contain it by spading around it, not so.

    We must have left a small piece of root as a sucker has appeared and has been swiftly dug out, and keeping our eyes on that area at all times. 

  • BluebootsBlueboots Posts: 100

    Some years ago my husband declared war on a sumach and pulled up every single sucker that came up in the (fairly small) lawn. He eventually got the better of it, but it took an awful lot of work (and bloody minded dedication).

    He still growls if you say the word Sumach.

    He also growls if you say Squirrel, but that's another story.

  • MrsGardenMrsGarden Posts: 3,736

    Oh no, just found a sucker coming up through the decking.

  • Anne33Anne33 Posts: 2

    Our next door neighbour has one of these trees in her garden, right next to the fence. We are driven to distraction with suckers off it. They are comming up in numerous places in our lawn.The tree has been there for years but the sucker problem only started about 2 years ago. We keep trying to dig them out but they keep comming back and its driving us to distraction. I've never been keen on weedkiller but after reading the comments above am thinking that may be our next option.

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