My vote for best in show is not a tree, but a shrub. The Staghorn Sumac.
|I would name this sumac colour scheme 'Hot Coals'.|
|Does this remind you of ceremonial feather decorations?|
|This colour could be 'Show Girl'.|
|Velvety red fruit candles appear in July.|
Flamboyant but undemanding and a provider of summer cover and winter food for birds, the sumac is not just a pretty face.
A drink tasting like lemonade and high in vitamins A and C can be made from the red berries. The dried fruit clusters also make an excellent beekeeper's smoker fuel. In spring, first year shoots (look for a green pith) can be peeled and eaten either raw or cooked. Added to a dried floral arrangement, the velvety red bobs make a festive touch.
So let's have a round of applause for Miss Sumac. Yay-y-y! Hoot! Hoot!