Because Sumacs can all grow with multiple stems in clumps or colonies, they make a good specimen group in a shrub or mixed border. To maximize their drama in your own yard, use these shrubs in conjunction with ornamental grasses and grass-type plants. A good ornamental, Smooth Sumac is not as attractive as Shining Sumac. It is suited to group plantings in small to large yards. Especially useful in attracting birds to naturalized yards.
The fruits of Smooth Sumac, when steeped in cool water, yield a refreshing drink, like lemonade. Native Americans used the bark of all sumacs as an astringent, and leaves and bark were used for tanning leather, due to the high tannin content. The Sumac flowers are sometimes dried to use in flower arrangements.