Staghorn Sumac is a native to Ohio and a great naturalizer plant.
Tree of Heaven is an invasive and extremely aggressive in growth and proliferation.
Both Sumac and Tree of Heaven are in flower in northeast Ohio, which in fact is one of the best ways to tell them apart.
Staghorn Sumac - Rhus typhina is an attractive wood line plant with attractive fruits
and a good orange fall color. The fruit is fuzzy, starts green,
and turns to red. The leaves on sumac are toothed and pinnately compound.
The bud is surrounded by the leaf scar.
The stems are densely pubescent with a firm white pith.
Tree of Heaven Ailanthis altissima has flower clusters that cascade out and down from the center.
They tend to be orange to brown.
The leaves are pinnately compound but are smooth with no teeth.
The buds are small and sit above a large heart-shaped leaf scar.
The stems have a brown spongy pith.
Both plants can grow together and may be difficult to tell apart. However, the flowers can really help if you want to keep (Sumac)
or pitch (Tree of Heaven).