African Sumac Tree in Phoenix
African Sumac trees (searsia lancea) are tall aggressive growing trees here in the Phoenix area. These trees are often very dense multi-trunk trees with a compound leaf that forms in groups of 3 with leaflets that are about 2-3” long. They grow thick and full and if left alone some branches will fill-in bush like and reach the ground. These trees get to be about 3-40 feet tall and just as wide in diameter. Sumacs are thornless but have lots of consistent litter throughout the year (we don’t recommend these trees near a pool). This tree blooms with small light green clusters with small yellow or red berries and does best in full sun. This tree does well in our desert summer but is also very hardy in the winter and able to take temperatures as low as 12 degrees at night. Sumacs are very drought tolerant but will thrive if watered heavily a couple of times per week and can handle soils that are heavy alkaline. Here is our recommendation for watering here in Phoenix.
Maintaining these trees require keeping the canopes from reaching the ground but not too high to expose the trunk to sun scalding. Also minimize crown thinning but always eliminate suckers growing near the base of the trunk. These trees are also considered invasive in urban areas here in Phoenix and can easily reseed itself with blooms or even through its roots.
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