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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Quercus shumardii Buckley
Shumard oak, Shumard's oak, Shumard red oak, Southern red oak
USDA Symbol: qush
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Shumards oak is a pyraminal tree, growing 50-90 ft. and becoming more open at maturity. Bark is thick, smooth and grayish, becoming furrowed and darker gray. The columnar trunk is frequently buttressed at the base. Lower branches are chiefly horizontal. Leaves frequently turning scarlet in the fall, up to 7 inches long, with 2 to 4 pairs of pointed lobes with soft, bristlelike tips. Sinuses between the lobes reaching from 1/2 to 3/4 the distance from the tip of the lobe to the leaf midrib. Acorns almost as wide as long, 3/4 to 1 inch long when mature with a broadly rounded apex and a flat base.
A handsome shade tree, suggested as a substitute for Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea Muenchh.), though not so hardy northward. Named for Benjamin Franklin Shumard (1820-69), state geologist of Texas. Texas Oak (var. texana (Buckl.) Ashe), sometimes considered a variety found in central Texas and southern Oklahoma, is currently more often classified as a separate species, Quercus texana Buckl. It has small, usually 5-lobed leaves, small acorns, and hairy red buds (instead of hairless brown). Shumard oak is what can only be called a botanists species, usually unrecognized by lumberman and layman, but an object of triumphant discovery to the botanical fraternity.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Green
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
, WV Canada: ON Native Distribution:
to n. FL,
w. to s.e. KS
& c. TX Native Habitat:
Moist, upland forests; stream banks
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Limestone-based, Caliche type
Conditions Comments: Quercus shumardii is a relatively fast-growing and adaptable oak. This species is quite drought resistant and also withstands short-term flooding. It is similar to the Texas or Spanish oak, but prefers deeper soils and tends to grow taller and straighter. Provides good fall foliage color.
Attractive, Shade tree,
Fall conspicuous, Fast growing, Disease resistant Use Wildlife:
Fruit-birds, Fruit-mammals, Nesting site, Cover, Substrate-insectivorous birds. Use Food:
Acorns (nuts) are edible after tannins are leached or boiled out. Gather nuts during the fall from September to October. Only gather the ripe tan-to-brown acorns, rather than the unripe green ones. remove bitterness, shell the brown, ripe acorns and remove any corky skin layers, dice the meat, and boil the chunks in water from 15 to 30 minutes until the water turns brown. Then pour off the water and repeat the process until the water clears, indicating that the tannic acid has been removed. During the last boiling, salt water can be added; then the acorns can be deep fried or mixed in a soup. Finely chopped acorn
meats can be added to bread doughs and muffin batters. After the leaching process, acorn
meat can be frozen. To make flour, the boiled acorn
meat can be split in two and dried by slowly baking in a 200 degree oven with the door cracked to allow moisture to escape. Crush or grind and use as a thickener or a flour. Another method is to roast the fresh acorn
to work well in a grinder or blender. After grinding, place the flour into a cloth bag and boil to leach out bitterness. Leached acorns, after they are roasted until brittle, can be ground and used as a marginal coffee substitute. Warning:
Acorns (seeds of nuts) and young leaves have low toxicity if eaten. Symptoms include stomach pain, constipation and later bloody diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination. Attracts:
Butterflies Larval Host:
Horaces Duskywing butterfly Deer Resistant:
Oaks are most often propagated from seed. No pretreatment is necessary. Plant immediately – outdoors or in deep containers to accomodate long initial taproot. Many oaks require cold temperatures to initiate shoot
development. Protect outdoor beds with Seed Collection:
Best quality acorns are picked or shaken from the tree. Collect when color has changed to brown. Best if sown immediately as acorns lose viability quickly in storage. Short-term storage in moist, shaded saw dust or sand. Acorns to be sown immediately can be soaked in hot water for 15 min. to prevent weevil infestation. Stored seed should be fumigated with methyl bromide. Seed Treatment:
Not Available Commercially Avail:
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Invasive, non-native Paulownia
May 03, 2006
Hi. We would like to plant a fast growing tree that will provide shade for our house. What do you think of the Paulownia tree (Empress Tree) as a possibility for the Austin area? If this is not a g...
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National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2013-09-06
Research By: TWC Staff