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Quercus shumardii Buckley
Shumard Oak, Shumard's Oak, Shumard Red Oak, Southern Red Oak, Swamp Red Oak, Spotted Oak
Fagaceae (Beech Family)
USDA Symbol: QUSH
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Shumards oak is a pyramidal 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, Q. buckleyi Nixon and Dorr. 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 botanist's species, usually unrecognized by lumberman and layman, but an object of triumphant discovery to the botanical fraternity.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Pinnate
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Fruit Type: Nut
Size Notes: 50-90 feet tall.
Autumn Foliage: yes
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Green
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , MI , MO , MS , NC , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
Native Distribution: S. PA 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.
BenefitUse Ornamental: 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.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Larval Host: Horace's Duskywing butterfly
Deer Resistant: No
PropagationDescription: 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.
Commercially Avail: yes
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
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
NPSOT - Native Plant Society of Texas - Fredericksburg, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Georgia Native Plant Society - Atlanta, GA
Texas Master Naturalists - Lost Pines Chapter - Bastrop, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 766 - Dale Groom's Texas Gardening Guide (2002) Groom, D.
Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 354 - Native & Naturalized Woody Plants of Austin & the Hill Country (1981) Lynch, D.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Bibref 297 - Trees of Central Texas (1984) Vines, Robert A.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Quercus shumardii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Quercus shumardii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Quercus shumardii
MetadataRecord Modified: 2017-12-13
Research By: TWC Staff