Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac Information Center

Is This Poison Ivy?

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Submitted by:  Marty Connors
Date Submitted: 6/10/2003
Location: not given

Question Asked: This is a sample from one of four tree-size plants (each is 15 to 20 feet in height with trunks 3 - 6 inches in diameter). Can sumac grow to that size? I was caught unawares because I never expected something that big!

Answer: Hi Marty -

Interesting plant but not poison sumac. Poison sumac is a bush that can get to about 15 feet high so your question about size is that it is true it can get that big. Other sumacs like the stag-horn sumac grows tree-size to about 20 feet in height. Poison sumac is identified by alternate, odd pinnately compound leaves. The leaflets are opposite along the stalk. The leaflet margins are smooth on poison sumac which is a key characteristic when distinguishing it from the other similar sumacs.