Smooth Sumac: A Charming Way to Evade Erosion and Preserve Your Landscape

Smooth Sumac: A Charming Way to Evade Erosion and Preserve Your Landscape

A successful landscaping project goes beyond the selection of ornamental plants and putting them together like a piece of mosaic art. A landscape that is thoughtfully constructed must employ erosion control methods in order to preserve its beauty and to honorably serve Mother Earth.

Erosion can be caused by natural occurrences such as wind or rain but can effectively be prevented, making your landscape maintenance a lot easier. In fact, there are many types of erosion control methods that are ecologically safe for landscapes. Planting the right assortment of shrubs and trees will not only beautify a landscape garden, but will help keep the layers of ground soil intact.

Smooth sumac (Rhus glabra) is a great choice for landscaping and erosion prevention. A type of shrub, smooth sumac not only prevents soil erosion, but can be used to create borders in a yard. With its medium-to-deep root systems, it can act as a natural barrier for rain. The smooth sumac is a fast-growing, thicket-forming shrub that has long, ornamental leaves. Resembling small trees, they help prevent soil erosion along streams, slopes, and ponds. The smooth sumac grows between 9.5′-15.5′, rarely larger, and the leaves turn a beautiful scarlet color in the fall.  They can also provide shade, serve as a windbreak, and propagate in areas where no other plants seem to be growing.

While protecting landscapes, the smooth sumac provides a wonderful focal point for a garden during the fall. The dark leaves of the sumac turn into bright hues of red and orange, just like Vermont maples. Smooth sumac therefore, should be an indispensable element to any landscape.

A map from Wikipedia shows where smooth sumac grows naturally in North America.


To see if your yard may benefit from plants that help prevent erosion, visit KG Landscape’s website, give us a call at 763-568-7251 to schedule a consultation, or submit a message through our quick quote system and someone will contact you within 24 hours.