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How to Remove Sumac Trees

By Jason M. Bruner ; Updated September 21, 2017

Sumac trees are not always poisonous, but most all of the sumac varieties that grow in North America are. Sumac trees can blend into a landscape easily with their average green leaves, like any other plant. Easily recognized by the red fruit they produce and their burgundy leaves in the fall, sumac trees have seven to 13 leaves on each stem. If these are of the poisonous variety, they can cause a mild to severe rash on the skin if it comes in contact with the urushiol oil that is inside the stems and leaves.

Remove the sumac trees in July, after the tree has budded and flowered, for best results.

Dress yourself in protective clothing such as eye goggles, gloves, a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. This protective clothing will help prevent exposure to the oil produced by this plant.

Begin by cutting away all branches of the sumac tree using garden loppers. Cut all of the branches back to the main trunk or stalk of the plant.

Use a chainsaw or a handsaw to cut the remaining trunk or stalk level with the ground.

Spray the stump and surrounding area with a herbicide spray to start killing out the stump. You can purchase a herbicide spray at local garden specialty store or plant nursery.

Remove all of the branches and cuttings from where the tree once grew. Dump the cuttings into a designated dumping area where no one will be exposed to them.


Things You Will Need

  • Protective clothing/gear
  • Garden loppers
  • Hand/Chainsaw
  • Herbicide


  • If the sumac tree begins to sprout new growth from the trunk, simply cut it away using garden loppers and treat the stump again with a herbicide spray.


  • Do not try to remove the sumac tree without wearing protective clothing and gear. The oil produced by the sumac tree can cause mild to severe rashes on the skin.

About the Author


Jason M. Bruner is a freelance writer who has been in the field for more than five years. His content has been previously published on various websites.