How to Stop Sumac Runners. Sumac is a small tree native to the U.S. It grows throughout most of the country, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture zone 5 to 10. The tree is small, only about 30 to 35 feet tall with a 35-feet-wide spread. The red berries produced by the tree are food for wild animals in many cases. However, sumac readily sends out suckers, also known as runners, that can take out your yard if you aren't careful. While there's no way to totally stop the tree from sending out runners, you can control the runners when the appear.
Locate all the runners sent out by the mother sumac tree in your yard. The runners or suckers are sent out by the main tree and take root along the way.
Cut the top of the sumac runners off with the pruners about 3 to 4 inches from the soil's surface.
Use the hoe to dig up the sumac runners. Push the hoe into the ground and pull up the soil and the roots of the sumac runner.
Pull the sumac runners out of the ground and dispose of them in the trash or the compost pile.