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Quercus shumardii

Common Name(s):
Shumard Oak
Native Plants, Trees

Quercus shumardii, commonly called Shumard oak, is a medium-sized, deciduous tree of the red oak group. Pyramidal in youth but spreads to a broad open crown with age. Typically grows at a moderately fast rate to a height of 40-60' (to 100' in the wild).  Its bark develops dark, deep furrows, with light gray to white, scaly ridge tops.

Shumard oak is a deciduous tree in the Fagaceae family.  The leaves turn russet-red in fall.  It looks a lot like northern red oak (Quercus rubra) but its leaves have fewer and deeper lobes. This species also seems to be more tolerant of heavy clay soils than northern red oak.  This tree is moderately salt tolerant.

Regions:  Piedmont, Coastal Plains

Seasons of Interest: 

  Leaf:  Fall                   Blooms:   Early spring           Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Fall

Wildlife Value:  This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer.  It is a host plant for Banded hairstreak, Edward's hairstreak, Gray hairstreak, White-M hairstreak, Horace's duskywing and Juvenal's duskywing butterflies.  Its acorns are eaten by woodpeckers, blue jays, small mammals, wild turkey, white-tailed deer, and black bears.    

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: This tree is generally a durable and long-lived tree, but is susceptible to a large number of potential diseases and insect pests, including anthracnose, canker, leaf spot, rust, blight, galls, caterpillars, borers, leaf miners, oak lace bug and oak mite. This tree is highly susceptible to oak wilt. Chlorosis (yellowing of the leaves while the veins remain green) often occurs when soils are not properly acidic. Can be difficult to transplant and establish.

40-60 ft.
The Shumard oak has insignificant flowers in separate male and female catkins appear in early spring as the leaves emerge. Its fruits are acorns which are usually not produced until the tree has reached the age of 25 years. The acorns are 3/4- to 1.25-inch with a bowl-shaped, scaly cap that covers less than 1/3 the nut Shumard Oak is a deciduous tree that may grow 70 to 100 feet tall. The bark develops dark, deep furrows, with light gray to white, scaly ridge tops. In spring, light green, cylindrical, male flower clusters and single, female spikes mature. The tree produces a . The acorn requires two growing seasons to reach maturity.
This tree is easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, acidic, well-drained soils in full sun. It tolerates a wide range of soil conditions including wet soils.
Pyramidal in youth,
Full sun, part shade
30-40 ft.
Growth Rate:
The Shumard Oak has alternate, shiny, dark green leaves (6-8" long) with deep, spiny lobes (usually 7-9 lobes) with coarse bristle tips and deep sinuses that extend more than halfway to the mid-rib. Its fall color appears late but is often a respectable brownish red.
street tree, drought tolerant, fall color, wildlife, fall interest, shade tree, salt tolerant, rain garden

NCCES plant id: 3182

Quercus shumardii Form
Michael Rivera, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Quercus shumardii Fall color
F. D. Richards, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Quercus shumardii Fall color, leaves
David J. Stang, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Quercus shumardii Leaves