En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - May 23, 2005

From: Woodstock, CT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Smarty Plants on staghorn sumac
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I currently have staghorn sumac in my yard located in Woodstock, Connecticut. it appears to be of the Rhus typhina species. i am removing these from my yard using a chainsaw and creating a pile of them in order to burn. Is it safe to burn them?

ANSWER:

If they are truly Stag-horn Sumac (Rhus hirta, formerly Rhus typhina) it should be just fine to burn them. However, if you have Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix, formerly Rhus vernix), it would not be a good idea to burn them. This species causes severe skin irritation because it contains urushiol, the same chemical in poison oak and ivy. The smoke and ash from the burning plants would carry the urushiol. You can read a description of Poison Sumac on the Poisonous Plants of South Carolina database. On the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada web page there is a description of how to tell poison sumac from the other sumacs.
 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Petals of flowers on cake from London
August 28, 2010 - Hi could you please confirm whether it is safe to position an amaryllis on top of a fresh cream cake (it will not be eaten, nor will the stem touch the cream, it will be positioned in a non toxic vial...
view the full question and answer

Are berries from the Carrot Wood Tree toxic to animals?
May 26, 2009 - Hello, I am trying to find out if the berries on the carrot wood tree are toxic to animals - dog?
view the full question and answer

Beautyberries not poisonous to cats and dogs from Haddonfield NJ
December 11, 2012 - Are beauty berry plants poisonous to cats/dogs? Would like to use branches w/berries and leaves as indoor decorations.
view the full question and answer

Can oleander poison the ground below it?
June 29, 2013 - Can oleander poison the ground below it? Would it kill/damage grass or other plants below it? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Photinia toxicity to dogs
June 15, 2009 - is the photinia bush toxic to dogs??
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center