This is either a shrub or a small tree and is 4-15 feet in height with hairless, smooth twigs and leafstalks. The twigs are somewhat flat-sided. The leaves are large with 11-31 toothed leaflets. The fruits are red, upright, and elongated with short hairs.
It is similar to the Staghorn Sumac but the Smooth Sumac has hairless twigs and stems.
The Smooth Sumac flowers from June-July. It is common in dry soil.