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Shumard Oak

Quercus shumardii


Shumard Oak

Introduction

Growing 80 feet tall with a 60 to 60 foot spread (in an ideal environment), Shumard Oak forms a large, stately tree with a narrow, rather open, rounded canopy, much like the Red Oak. The crown spreads with age becoming round at maturity. The four to eight-inch-long deciduous leaves are deeply lobed (more than Quercus rubra) and have bristles on the tips of some lobes. A lovely dark green during most of the year, Shumard Oak puts on a vivid display brilliant red to red-orange fall and winter foliage, providing a dramatic landscape statement. Fall and winter coloration varies from year to year in USDS hardiness zones 8 and 9. During the winter the bare tree provides interesting branching patterns. The 1.5 inch-wide acorns are surrounded by a shallow, enclosing cup and are popular with wildlife.

Use and Management

Plant the Shumard Oak on 30 to 40 foot centers, it will form a closed canopy over a two-lane street in 20 to 25 years with good growing conditions. It makes a good street tree after some initial pruning to develop a central leader. Several leaders often develop in the nursery and when they are removed to develop one leader, the tree often looks very open and bare. Although this may be somewhat undesirable, it creates a stronger tree, which will provide a much longer service life. Branches are more upright and will not grow down toward the ground, as will Live Oak and Laurel Oaks.

A native to the bottomlands of the southwestern US, Shumard Oak grows well in full sun on a wide variety of soils. Although it prefers moist, rich soil where it will grow rapidly. It will tolerate drier locations. Shumard Oak is highly stress-tolerant and will endure urban conditions quite well, including high pH soils. It appears to be well adapted to clay soil, even those that are poorly drained.

Pests

Galls can be a concern, but are harmless so chemical controls are not suggested.

Planting

  • Typically planted in 30, 45, 65, or 95 gal containers
  • B&B trees are specified in caliper inches (2” cal, etc)
  • Container trees can double the price of B&B trees
  • Plant container trees in late summer, if price allows
  • Plant B&B trees if they were dug and cured in the winter months

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