Common Name(s): Sumac, Staghorn Sumac
Scientific Name: Rhus spp. (Rhus typhina)
Distribution: Northeastern United States
Tree Size: 30-40 ft (10-12 m) tall, 6-12 in (15-30 cm) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 33 lbs/ft3 (530 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .45, .53
Janka Hardness: 680 lbf (3,030 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 10,200 lbf/in2 (70.4 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 1,190,000 lbf/in2 (8.21 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 5,940 lbf/in2 (41.0 MPa)
Shrinkage: No data available
Color/Appearance: Along with Lignum Vitae, Sumac is one of the few woods that has a consistently yellow to olive-green coloration. Sapwood is a grayish white.
Grain/Texture: Grain tends to be straight to interlocked, with a fine to medium texture. Sumac has a moderate level of natural luster.
Endgrain: Ring-porous or semi-ring-porous; medium to large earlywood pores 3-6 rows wide, small to medium latewood pores, moderately numerous to numerous; commonly in radial multiples or tangential bands, sometimes in clusters; tyloses present; narrow rays not visible without lens, normal spacing; parenchyma vasicentric.
Rot Resistance: Sumac is rated as being non-durable to perishable regarding decay resistance, and is also susceptible to insect attack.
Workability: Sumac is generally easy to work, yet its low density can produce fuzzy surfaces that need to be cleaned up with sanding.
Odor: No characteristic odor.
Allergies/Toxicity: Sumac has been reported to cause skin irritation. Most species that produce strong skin reactions (mostly through contact with leaves), such as Posion Sumac, are in the Toxicodendron genus, rather than the Rhus genus. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.
Pricing/Availability: Because of its small size, Sumac is not a commercially important species. Small pieces of Sumac are occasionally harvested by hobbyists for specialty wood projects; prices should be moderate.
Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses: Small specialty items, carving, turned objects, and inlay.
Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Mike Leigher for providing the wood sample of this wood species.