Anyone growing Tiger Eye Sumac?

dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)March 11, 2008

Rhus typhina ÂBailtigerÂ. I'm thinking that this would be the best focal plant for my new bed and am wondering whether people who are growing it are pleased? I think it is deer resistant and I love the colours.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Too new for much experience. There will be lots later, it has appeared in many outlets here. Has seemed a bit pricey - 30 dollars or more for something like a 3 gallon pot - but with the oil price increases everything soon will be anyway. Try looking at threads from outside the region, there has been quite a bit of earlier discussion on this site.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 2:15PM
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Last year on 'Gardening with Ciscoe', Megan was ripping out numerous suckers from this bad mannered golden sumac. She wanted it out of her garden. It would make a pretty pot plant. The plant must have a patent on it and when that expires in a decade or so it should cost less.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 2:02AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

All sumacs sucker, but many older green cutleaf staghorn sumac here aren't surrounded by their own forest - and also have a lower, broader habit than the typical green plant without cut leaves. Maybe she did some digging around it beforehand and stimulated it to take off, or there was some other non-universal circumstance. Other suckerous kinds of trees and shrubs may also go crazy or sit quietly for years. Being a yellow foliage form the 'Bailtiger' should have less horsepower - and is of course being depicted as short-growing etc. as like other new plants whose history begins with a commercial source what background information is available is largely promotional in nature.

Here is a link that might be useful: Staghorn sumac plant named 'bailtiger'

    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 12:47PM
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I planted a tiger eye last year in late summer. It did pretty well but was somewhat battered by the wind. So far this spring I have yet to see any buds. Does anyone know when these plants typically bloom.....late spring/early summmer???

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 10:49PM
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I've had this Sumac entering it's third year for me and it's been well behaved with not a single sucker so far (I also don't overly amend my soil). It's quite late to leaf out so be patient.

The texture and the golden color is outstanding!


    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 2:50AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I wish I had more room. I'd plant it in a heartbeat if I did.

I don't have room for all the cool new ninebarks and Sambucas either. :(

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 12:38PM
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I had mine in a pot all last summer and finally put it in the ground in the fall. It is still there and I can see some buds but not much else. I will keep an eye on it and, I hope, will be able to give you more feedback later.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 2:28PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

I planted two Tiger Eyes late last summer, probably each at least a foot tall. Deer nibbled on both during the winter so they are shorter than last year. One is growing vigorously. Other is alive but showing very little growth.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 5:11PM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

I have bought one and planted it in my new bed under a large fir. Yesterday, the irrigation men came and put in some sprinklers for the bed. Once this little bed starts to grow, I'll post pics. I like to hear the good stories about this pretty sumac.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 9:01PM
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I am also thinking of planting a Tiger Eye Sumac and have been reading threads related to its suckering. I think I remember reading in a book called "Making the Most of Shade" by Larry Hodgson, that if you are worried about a plant spreading by suckers, you can plant it in a sunken pot in the ground indefinitely (forever if you put it in a large enough pot and don't care about limiting it to a certain size). I am thinking about planting a Tiger Eye Sumac in a 5 gallon nursery pot (sinking the pot into the ground) so that it won't sucker on my property. Does anyone have any opinions on whether that will work? Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 8:15PM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

I can't answer your questions, but I did buy one and planted it in a new bed. Unfortunately, it attracts deer and is constantly being chewed. I am going to spray it with a deer repellent and hopefully it will do better. I like your idea of putting it in a pot -- I might relocate mine into a pretty ceramic pot above ground though.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 9:50PM
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I just planted a tiger eye sumac yesterday and today a neighbour came by and told me I shouldn't have planted it so close to the house, as the roots can get into the foundation. (someone told her this). Does anyone know if the roots get really agressive? I know about the suckering but would like to know if I should worry about the roots. I love the plant and wanted it for an empty corner.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 8:51PM
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Mary Palmer

Humm, I have two of them, one the deer ate the first year but it grew back and they now leave it alone as it is now surrounded by two Cytisus which also got nibbled but are also now left alone (they have found other goodies). That one has not suckered. Now the second one is planted in a bed that is tended to and it is starting to sucker, I suspect because I have disturbed the roots by weeding and such. I guess I will cut them off if they become a huge problem and or remove the whole thing. So far they have not grown above all of the other foliage plants so I am leaving everything alone. As for putting it in a pot in the ground, I did that with a cool shrub bamboo once but I sunk one empty pot into the ground and put an inch of peatmoss in the bottom. Then I put the pot of bamboo into that pot. Worked great! DO NOT FORGET TO WATER THE SUNKEN PLANT HOWEVER!!!! You can always pull out your plant and check for escaping roots and rhizomes. As for planting it near the house, root/rhizome prune it every so often like you would a bamboo. Dig up what is growing beyond where you want it. I don't think this plant is that aggreassive. Maybe the species is......just don't know for sure. It's called gardening maintenence :-)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 12:18AM
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I planted it earlier this year and so far no problem--no suckers. I guess my only complain would be that it is not as bushy as I'd like it to be. The color is hard to beat though.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 3:54AM
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madrone(VancIsl BC)

I planted this plant in a 10 gal pot and set it out in the flower border as a focal point. It worked...every deer in the area found it. It now resides in its pot in the fenced veggie garden where it looks good but not as stunning as in the flower border. Its now in its third year and so far, there are no suckers.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 12:37AM
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I love this plant. Mine has been in the ground for about 16 months, had spectacular fall color last year, at least doubled in size this year, and shows no sign of suckers yet.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 10:27AM
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We've tried growing it before but the rabbits (not the deer) gnawed it into oblivion. I'm tempted to try again-- walking past them (on sale!) at the nursery today they had amazing fall color. But I don't want to invest in something that either won't survive the winter freeze here in Minneapolis, or won't survive being foraged by rabbits. Maybe someone's got a good sucker I can dig up and plant . . .

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 2:56PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Interesting that although staghorn sumac is native to Minnesota the cut-leaved version sometimes freezes back.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 11:09PM
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I have 2 of these and they are 3 years old, about 6 feet tall now. I had a bad problem with suckering this year. I bet I clipped off at least 50 "babies" this spring, and they are sprouting up again in new places. They are growing in among other plants, making it difficult to remove them. They are beautiful, though after they have filled out in the spring and the fall colors are great. They need to be in a place that allows them to spread. I did not have this problem until this year as they have matured to their full height. I am seriously thinking about removing them in the fall after their branches have fallen off and moving them to a field where they can spread as they choose.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 10:32PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Put a root barrier around them, as is done with running bamboo.

They are unlikely to remain 6' tall. Trees and shrubs don't grow to a predetermined height and then come to a complete halt. Every time new growth is made the specimen becomes that much taller.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 12:29AM
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No suckers yet and it is doing very well with very little care--maybe that is the trick.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 1:28AM
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I'm removing mine this year, much as it pains me to get rid of plants! I've had mine for 4+ years & this year, I'm appalled at how far they're spread! It's not suckering closer to the tress, itself..but from 6+ ft onward! I have them popping up at 18 ft away from the tree base (we measured it to see). It really breaks my heart, as I love the gorgeous colors...they go well with my threadleaf maple. I have 14 "sprouts" all in all. UGH!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 6:25PM
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Mary Palmer

I am thinking that mine will have to go this year as well. Suckering is getting worse and the pretty Susie something daylily is also running amuck! Things just don't stay the same!I have places I could move the Sumac. Does anyone know how well they transplant?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 2:06AM
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I am very interested in growing some of these plants! My plan is to sink a large lawn-sized rubber garbage can into the ground, with it's bottom cut out, or holes drilled into the sides, depending on what the root habit/depth is (still doing research. This should keep them from spreading past the container size.

Also, has anyone tried varying degrees of shade with these plants? I have a lot of mature trees in my yard, and would love to have these in part shade or on the edge of my shade garden.

If anyone is interested in sending me some suckers, I would be more than happy to cover shipping, do an exchange, or work out other compensation! Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 2:10AM
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We planted two in a remote corner of our yard in Lino Lakes (MN) three years ago and they are gorgeous in the fall. Only about 3 feet tall thus far. Have not had any suckers yet, or problems with rabbits or deer eating them. However, just this spring one of our plants has developed a fuzzy white fungus on it, looking like small shelf-mushrooms mid-way up a main trunk, and all the buds above it are beginning to dry up and die as well as the bark cracking open revealing a dried-up woody interior. Also, beneath the fungus there is a glob of a brownish waxy substance accumulating, like a sap blob. Don't know if this is something that will spread to the other plant near it, or not. Should the trunk be lopped-off? Should the whole plant be removed? Can it be saved? Does anyone know???

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 5:47PM
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We live in Central PA and planted a Tiger Eye (in the fall) about 3 years ago as a focal point in our landscaping. BIG mistake. Although beautiful in color the suckering is terrible. It began to get to large for it's location so we transplanted it last fall and continue to have problems with suckering in it's original location. I can't tell you how many yards of root system I pulled this weekend. It actually started to root under our porch foundation. God only knows were little ones will pop up next. Uugghh! As far as did just fine, however I'm seriously thinking about getting rid of it completely. I don't want to go thru this again!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 1:52PM
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I am thinking of replanting mine near a black walnut tree. Will the jugalone from the tree bother it?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 6:17PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Since the species is suckerous there is little reason to think 'Bailtiger' would not produce suckers.

Disturbing the soil around it, as with cultivation or weeding would seem likely to increase the suckering. But sumacs are suckerous anyway.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 2:03PM
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I planted a Tiger Eye Sumac 3 years ago, not knowing that they would produce suckers. I planted it as a focal point by the front porch and house. It is beautiful. I have been told that I should probably move it this fall because of the roots. I do not want the roots to get into foundation. Does anyone have any knowledge on this? Should I move it this fall or can I spade around to to keep the roots from getting into foundation and under porch.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 12:45PM
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Mary Palmer

I moved mine last year because I was continuously digging around it and disturbing the roots while rearranging the garden. That definitely seems to trigger suckering. It didn't like the move but it is recovering. I didn't find the roots that hard to deal with but it had only been there about four years. If you like how it looks and can leave the roots undisturbed, I would leave it where it is. On the other hand if your foundation is really old brick or cracked CMU block, you might want to move it. If your house is relatively new, I wouldn't worry about the plant hurting your foundation. The golden Sumac can be a very beautiful addition to the garden.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 11:45PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Plant with root barrier around it, same as is done with running bamboos.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 2:15AM
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I bought a potted Tiger Eye Sumac last summer. In late summer / fall, one by one the leaves turned yellow and the branches fell off until it was a stick. Over the winter it sat there unprotected in a (large) pot, as I thought it was dead. This Spring it's foliage burst forth unbelievably, unfurling branch after branch of healthy green leaves. A few weeks ago though the branches started (from the bottom) turning yellow and falling off again. What am I doing wrong? I fear my healthy, lush tree will be a stick again in several weeks, and all the lessons I thought I learned about new life springing from what seem like dead old branches will have to be replaced by darker stories.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 12:28PM
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It sounds like mine is behaving in a similar fashion Michaelpatrick_va... I planted it in early summer, grew 6 inches and lovely...only one sucker and I have it in an area surrounded by weedbarrier cloth.. hope that keeps it in place...........if it lives at all.. Its nearly Oct 1, and not turning colors yet but all of the leaves about 4 inches from the top down are turning brown and falling off. Wonder if it will come back like yours. Where are the beautiful fall colors it promised?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 11:00PM
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I'm at Echo Lake near Woodinville/Monroe and planted two last year but the deer decimated them, so I put up protection and was hoping they would come back. They did, though as someone said, they leaf out quite late. Now I'm just hoping that they will attain a size that will allow me to remove the ugly metal surround at some point. Damn deer; they eat everything. I planted some Autumn Joy sedum earlier this year and it was gone before it even had a hope, same with my smoke bush, redtwig dogwood, you name it. Expensive little (big) pests.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 2:09PM
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Hi, We have one in our backyard which faces south. It is just absolutely beautiful and has grown quite a bit since we planted it about 3 year ago. If I can figure out how to post a picture I will do it.

cannot figure out how to submit a picture. Can someone enlighten me.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 5:52PM
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All you need to do is set up with a web hosting site, such as Photobucket, which is free. Looking forward to seeing your pictures!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 10:14PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The most impressive one I see on a regular basis is also against a south-facing wall (on Camano Island). During summer it is quite yellow.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 1:23PM
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greenelephant(Woodinville WA)

I dug up a nice start of this last week. Will bring it to the Green Elephant if you'd like.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 11:44PM
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I have a Tiger Eye Sumac, and I'm finding suckers/shoots everywhere! It was planted before I moved here about three years ago. I've found suckers/shoots 30 feet away from the sumac on the other side of the driveway. I'm finding this to be extremely invasive. I could easily spend 30 minutes a week removing suckers. I'm in the Minneapolis area. Is this normal? I'm tempted to rip the thing out! Any insight would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 11:34AM
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NOT deerproof! Deer killed my first one. Now I protect with netting and repellent. I find the deer like new shoots of any Sumac so it seems the trick is to get them to grow enough to get woody branches.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 1:21AM
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This was the 2nd summer for mine and it is really bushy and pretty. It's planted with it's back to a short wall and in front a sidewalk, so it's not completely free to roam. So far I do have one shoot, but haven't noticed any others. Also, didn't see any significant color change in fall last year like it is supposed to. I do like it's different coloration but think it might outgrow it's spot. Is there any reason one can't prune to keep it down?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 6:30PM
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This year (it's 3rd in my garden) is the first time it's really seemed to be actively growing (instead of merely struggling to survive). It looks smashing right now and I'm hoping for some good fall color. No suckering at all (yet) so I'm crossing my fingers :-)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 5:57PM
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Karchita(WA Z8)

What a pretty garden you have, scotty!

I have had a Tiger Eye sumac for about 7 years. The first 3-4 years it was in a succession of pots and did well until it outgrew the last pot. Then it started to yellow and drop leaves like crazy in midsummer. I don't think these plants tolerate being root bound at all, although they are tough plants that will rebound in the spring.

I finally put it in the ground where it gets about 6 hours of sun. It is not a super sunny spot. That was about 3-4 years ago. It was quite root bound when I planted it and I didn't uncoil the roots like I normally would because of the suckering reputation of this plant. I just left the roots in a tight ball. It's done really well and is now about 5x5'. It is a very nice light green during cloudy spells and then noticeably turns yellow during sunny spells. The yellow leaves seem to turn back to green when it gets cloudy again, which is very strange. As it has matured, it has started to produce more of the flowers and this year is the first year that they are really what I would call decorative. It's a very good looking plant. It has early and gorgeous fall colors.

So far, I have not had any suckering. This spring, I pulled a little miniature Tiger Eye plantlet growing directly under it within a foot of the trunk and thought, oh no, the suckering has begun. But it turned out to be just a seedling; when I pulled it up, it had tiny roots and wasn't attached to anything.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 1:23AM
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I purchased my tiger's eye in a 3 gallon pot in 2007. I rarely water it and it gets sun all day. I live in southwest WI. Last year I trimmed it back because it was over 8 - yes 8 - feet tall and about that big around! This summer it grew to 8 feet again! I planted this next to my house and just this week cut it down and dug up the stump. The stump was about 10-12 inches around! My mother plant suckered everywhere! I used to pull them out but stopped because I knew I was going to dig them out. WOW - what a beautiful grove I had! I am so sad to see them go. Does anyone know if the shoots can be replanted? A few friends want them. Also, wonder if a branch from the mother plant can be rooted...I would also like to keep one for myself but plant it in a large pot - any thoughts? Jackie

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 10:36AM
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Hi, I joined this forum a while back and don't know that I have ever posted until now.

I have had a Tiger eye sumac for a few years now. It looks spectacular in the Spring and most of the Summer. Around the first of August it begins to turn brown and drop it's leaves. I never get the fall color that I expect. Anyone have any idea why this is happening?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 12:16AM
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This is what it looked like at it's peak in July, and what it looks like now. It did this the previous two years.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 9:16PM
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agnieszka(z8 Seattle)

I would love to know how all the sumac plants from this older post are doing especially with regard to suckering. I'd love to plant one in my urban garden but I'm afraid of suckers. I'd plant perennials underneath so the ground would be disturbed quite often and I'm hearing that that stimulates suckers. Are there any new varieties that don't sucker?
If you have it in a pot, how large is the pot and the plant? Is it happy?
I had Tiger Eyes in my previous garden and it only produced about three suckers in two years; I can deal with that! However, I'm worried that the suckering will get out of control in this location.., Thank you for any wisdom you can provide!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 11:15AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Still don't remember seeing one make a thicket in this area. But planting it with root barrier around it would eliminate the risk, unless the barrier was not put in right or got damaged later.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 11:20PM
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Karchita(WA Z8)

The one that I planted that was severely root bound and I didn't uncoil the roots still hasn't suckered at all. It was in pots for 3-4 years and has now been in the ground for 6 years. I avoid disturbing the soil around it as much as possible, though I do have some heucheras and sedum ground covers growing under it.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 4:43AM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

I kept mine in a pot. It got quite mis-shapen and the deer ate it. This spring it got turfed.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 7:42PM
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I live in Minnesota and planted two Tiger Eyes two years ago. They have thrived and are gorgeous. I have a total of three suckers that I'm going to try replanting. By doing that I hope it doesn't encourage more suckering.

Has anyone had success in replanting the suckers?

When I purchased the Tiger Eyes II wasn't aware that there might be a problem with suckering otherwise I would have planted them in a large sunken container with the bottom cut off. That has worked for me with some invasive plants.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 1:05AM
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I bought one about 8 years ago, was told it got about 5' tall--well it is about 9' tall now. Yes, I get suckers all summer long-constantly cutting them. My question is can you use the buds for lemonade or spices from this plant as the ones in the wild?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 9:07AM
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The Tiger Eyes sumac is grown near me. It is substantially weaker than its wild ancestor grown nearby also. It is droopy, pale and just 6ft tall without nourishment. The "tree" style is practically impossible as the shrub is already weak without any aggressive pruning. As an upside, it won't spread like crazy.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2014 at 3:41PM
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Great thread!
I have had two small Tiger Eyes for two years. They're struggling a bit, but I guess they are consolidating the root system. No rhizomes yet. Sandy soil, full sun. They're in a handy size for replanting.
My other sumac (Autumn Gold) is maybe eight years old, and shooting ten rhizomes during summer. It's in the lawn so no trouble removing. This is too large to transplant with barrier.
Q: How deep should the rhizome barrier go for the sumacs?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2015 at 6:30AM
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