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

Dwarf oyster plant dying in Sunrise FL
July 06, 2012 - WHAT WOULD BE KILLING MY DWARF OYSTER PLANTS
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

Palm tip wound in Sacramento CA
June 25, 2009 - My husband was stuck in his calf with a palm leaf, he is now complaining of stiffness where it went in, is there any kind of poison in it?
view the full question and answer

Puppy-friendly privacy screen in Montana
November 02, 2012 - I need some puppy-friendly short(< 30') privacy from the gigantic windows of my next door neighbor. But- there are power lines above the area that I needed to plant! I had planned on an aspen grove, ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub with red berries in Tennessee
January 24, 2014 - Hello, I've got a shrub in my backyard; it has leaves off in groups of 3 and it has multiple reddish berries in groups by the dozens. I'm not sure what plant it is. The shrub is stick-like and appr...
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