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Tree & Wood Descriptions for: Rhus typhina

Product Sources

The material is reported to be unavailable in commercial quantities, but can be obtained for small projects as might be undertaken by a craftsperson.

Tree Data

The largest of the native Sumacs, the tree is described as a large shrub, and is often found in thickets. The occasional tree is reported to be about 35 to 40 feet (11 to 12 m) high, with a trunk diameter of up to 12 inches (30 cm). The name staghorn is reported to be derived from the appearance of the tree after its beautiful red, purple and yellow leaves fall from velvety branches resembling the antlers of a stag.

Sapwood Color

The sapwood is nearly white in color, and is very thin.

Heartwood Color

The heartwood is orange-green or may be golden yellow streaked with shades of brown and green. The heartwood is reported to fluoresce under black light.


The wood is described as soft, light in weight, and brittle, with very prominent ring pores.


The wood is described as quite attractive, with a high, satiny luster.


Freshly-cut wood is reported to exude a thick, sticky pitch from the region between the bark and the wood. Seasoned wood is reported to be free of the pitch.