I have to admit, I suspected this to be the occurrence. Denial is the only thing I have to blame for not investigating further. Whole (unpublished) posts have been written on the great ecological benefits of having sumac trees on the farm.
Alas, as the flowers have given way to seed there is no more doubt that my large grove of sumac trees are actually Tree of Heaven, or Ailanthus altissima.
In fact, you can see one miss-identification in this post regarding this picture:
In one month of total age (2 weeks from previous image), look at how much these seedlings have grown:
While I’m collecting my thoughts on our overuse of the term invasive, there is no way to include these trees in that argument. Ailanthus trees exude chemicals like ailanthone to inhibit the growth of other plants helping them establish dominant stands. It is much like juglone excreted by trees of the Juglans genus (eg: black walnut) but at a much more destructive level.
Without action, these trees will continue to take over and dominate the pasture. The strategy to address this issue will be covered tomorrow.
For now, I must lay to rest my dreams of making the lemonade flavored tea from the sumac fruit.