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Containing Staghorn Sumac

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Containing Staghorn Sumac

Postby tricone » Apr 15, 2014 10:30 am

A 3ft sumac came into my possession this week. I've always adored these plants for their red foliage and slightly "tropical" feel, their value to wildlife and their edible drupes. I have always wanted to grow some. The thing is I need to be able to contain its suckering and prevent it from spreading. My plot is relatively small and the only places really suitable to plant it are close to the boundaries, so it's likely to be a pressing issue.

I have a few ~60 gallon planters, so I thought: Either cut the bottom off the planter and plant the sumac with the planter acting as a collar to contain the roots for a few foot's depth - or just keep the thing in the planter forever.

I'd imagine one of these two solutions would both prevent the sumac from spreading and let it grow relatively happily?


(PS, hi, new member, will probably be sticking around!)
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Re: Containing Staghorn Sumac

Postby OGrubber » Apr 16, 2014 9:23 am

Either will work for a time, but given your circumstances, I would probably keep it in the planter [forever].
My reasoning is this; though a sunken planter will [or should] contain the roots, the runners would be near the surface area, which means you would need to keep a portion of the pot above ground level. And, the portion that is above ground level will eventually break down from weathering, so, not really a long term solution unless you are willing to dig up to replace the pot periodically.
.... and, unless being rootbound keeps the tendency to runners in check, you'll have an abundance of runners in your [forever] pot. ... so, be prepared to buy more pots. laf
Market Gardening - Just another day at the plant.
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Re: Containing Staghorn Sumac

Postby tricone » Apr 16, 2014 3:19 pm

Thanks! I was leaning towards that option, although I might sink the planter into a bed in the winter, to keep the roots a bit warmer while it's dormant.

Turns out it's a Tiger Eyes staghorn which (supposedly!) don't sucker as much as the wild-type. We'll see.
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