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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

African Sumacs Pretty but Messy

Q. I have two 20-year old African Sumacs in my back yard that drop nearly all their leaves every summer.  Every fall they always come back.  Is this normal?  Beautiful tress but make a real mess! 

A. African sumac is a messy tree. There is going to be a lot of leaf drop and the female trees will drop a lot of berries. The seeds in the berries germinate easily and you may see seedlings popping up all over the place.
African sumac in Bloom in February

Sparrows and mockingbirds love the fruit from the female tree and help to disperse new seedlings all over your neighbor’s landscapes. The male trees produce pollen that is pretty allergenic usually around February or March. These are drawbacks to African sumac.
African sumac in Bloom in February

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