Tiger Eyes sumac

(Question)

I have planted three of these, two this year and one about two years ago. They are supposed to be non-invasive; however, I have read on gardening forums that many gardeners (e.g., in Northern Illinois) are now finding that after three years, they are becoming real “thugs”, sending out long runners and colonizing. One person suggested containing them by sinking a 12″ deep metal barrier into the soil around the plant. I am wondering if 12″ would be deep enough, given that they have a long tap root. What do you think? (Or should I just remove them? I love the plant).

Thanks!

(Answer)

 

Tiger Eyes sumac (Rhus typhina ‘Bailtiger’) may be one of those plants that spreads but is not really invasive. In fact, garden writer Larry Hodgson, writing in Canadian Gardening magazine describes it as “a striking new shrub that “spreads much more slowly than other sumacs and is not considered invasive.”

It does not appear on any plant or noxious weed list.  Perhaps the person or people writing about it on garden forum/s you mention were confusing it with Chinese sumac (Ailanthus altissima) which is considered invasive.

Unless you want to contain it to a certain space, you don’t need to put up a barrier at all.