PLANT ID – Tree in my backyard


good morning. I recently had a rash that was similar to poison ivy and the only thing I could think of that I came into contact with was a tree in my backyard. Picture attached. I have no idea what it is called and would like to know before my allergist appointment. I can send better photos by email if you prefer. I am sending a close up of a branch as well. Hoping you can help. thank you!



Hello – While I’m not able to identify your tree from your photographs, there is an Ontario tree that causes a rash similar to Poison Ivy. Poison Sumac is a coarse shrub or small tree (5-23 ft. high) with compound leaves containing 3-6 leaflets and a terminal leaf.  It is not often seen as it grows in wet woods and edges of swamps.  Any chance you have similar conditions in your back yard?  Like Poison Ivy, the entire plant is poisonous, both the foliage in summer and the bare twigs in winter. Other sumacs (Staghorn sumac, Smooth sumac) are not poisonous.  Click here  to reach a site with some good photos of Poison Sumac.  I’m also including a link below to an OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) site with information on Poison Sumac.

Hope this helps.  If you’d like a more definitive identification, please review the Plant Identification Requests information on our web site for other sources for identification help and criteria for submitting photographs.

OMAFRA – Ontario Weeds – Poison Sumac