SelecTree: Tree Detail

Rhus copallinum

Rhus copallinum Rhus copallinum Rhus copallinum Rhus copallinum Rhus copallinum Rhus copallinum Rhus copallinum Rhus copallinum Rhus copallinum

Photo Locations: Louisiana State Arboretum - Ville Platte, LA and UC Berkeley Botanic Garden - Berkeley, CA

General Notes

Although a relative of Poison Sumac, this variety isn't poisonous and is not known to cause skin irritations. Will tolerate a wide range of soil types but does best in acidic, sandy soils. Branches droop but resist breakage.

Native to Eastern United States.

Trees may be referred to as male or female.

Family: Anacardiaceae


Rhus copallina

Additional Common Names


Tree Characteristics

Rounded Shape.

Has Deciduous foliage.

Height: 10 - 30 feet.

Width: 10 - 20 feet.

Growth Rate: 12 to 36 Inches per Year.

Leaves Pinnately Compound Odd, Green, Red or Orange, Deciduous.

Flowers Showy. Yellow to Green. Flowers in Summer. Has either male or female flowers (dioecious). Trees may be sold as male or female.

Persistent, Red Drupe, Small (0.25 - 0.50 inches), fruiting in Fall Wildlife use it.

Bark Light to Dark Gray, Smooth.

Shading Capacity Rated as Moderate to Moderately Dense in Leaf.

Shading Capacity Rated as out of Leaf.

Litter Issue is Leaves.

Tree Site Conditions & Constraints

Sunset Zones 2 - 9 and 14 - 18.

USDA Hardiness Zones 5 - 11.

Exposure Full Sun to Partial Shade.

Well Drained Soil.

Drought tolerant.

Clay, Loam or Sand Texture.

Acidic Soil pH.

Seaside Tolerance is Not Suited.

Pests & Disease Information

Susceptible to Aphids and Scales, Canker, Leaf Spot, Powdery Mildew and Verticillium.

Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns

Branch Strength Rated as Medium.

Root Damage Potential Rated as Low.

Desirable Wildlife Plant.

Attracts Bees, Butterflies, and Birds.

Wildlife use Fruit.

Special Uses & Values

Specimen, Buffer Strip or Container.

Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Rhus copallinum Tree Record." 1995-2018. May 21, 2018.
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