Shumard Oak – Quercus shumardii

Shumard Oak – Quercus shumardii
Family Fagaceae – Beech, Chinkapin and Oak
Shumard oak is one of the largest southern red oaks.

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Shumard oak provides a spectacular fall color display

Shumard's oak range [2]

Shumard oak is one of the largest southern red oaks. Also called spotted oak, Schneck oak, Shumard red oak, southern red oak, and swamp red oak. It is a lowland tree and grows scattered with other hardwoods on moist, well-drained soils associated with large and small streams. It grows moderately fast and produces acorns that are used by wildlife for food.
Shumard oak is found in the Atlantic Coastal Plain primarily from North Carolina to northern Florida and west to central Texas; it is also found north in the Mississippi River Valley to central Oklahoma, eastern Kansas, Missouri, southern Illinois, Indiana, western and southern Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. It is found locally north to southern Michigan, southern Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

Shumard likes a humid, temperate climate characterized by hot summers and mild, short winters. It is expected the current man-made rise in global temperature will be advantageous to the species. Rainfall requirements are between about 45 and 55 inches. It is not known how global climate change will affect rainfall, although the vast majority of scientific data suggest there will be an increase in short and long-term droughts in areas previously unafflicted thus. Shumard oak tolerates drought well, as shown by its presence in parts of Texas and Oklahoma where the average annual rainfall is only about 640 mm (25 in). The dramatic increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels due to man's burning of fossil fuels may benefit the trees also [2].

Acorns of Shumard oak serve as mast for numerous species of birds and mammals. In the Mohrs oak and Ashe juniper-redberry juniper types, Shumard oak acorns are probably an important source of food for the deer herd. Commercially, Shumard oak is marketed with other red oak lumber for flooring, furniture, interior trim, and cabinetry.

Shumard's Oak is 14 years old [1]

Shumard oak is monoecious; the flowers develop in the spring at the time of bud-break and leaf development. The staminate flowers are borne on aments (catkins) that originate from buds in the terminal bud cluster of the previous year's shoots [2].

Major insect defoliators of oak trees include the oak leaf-eater (Croesia semipurpurana), fall cankerworm, forest tent caterpillars (Malacosoma disstria), gypsy moth, and orange striped oakworm. Coupled with defoliation by spring frosts, repeated defoliation by these insects either individually or in combination is thought to be the primary cause of "decline" and mortality of scarlet oak and other oaks in the white oak group in Pennsylvania.

Acorn Weevil
Acorn Weevil, Curculio sp. [3]
The acorns of Shumard oak are frequently infested with larvae of the nut weevils Curculio (left), the moth Valentinia glandulella, and the cynipid gall wasps. However, one study indicated that chestnut oak acorns may have lower insect infestation rates than acorns of other oaks.

Shumard oak is more resistant to wood borers than most oaks but is particularly susceptible to attack by ambrosia beetles, especially the Columbian timber beetle and several species of the genera Platypus and Xyleborus; these beetles are particularly damaging to trees that have been weakened by fire or drought.

The more important wood borers that attack chestnut oak are the oak timberworm, the carpenterworm, and the little carpenterworm (P. macmurtrei). Chestnut oaks are also susceptible to several gall-forming wasps (Cynipidae), a pit scale (Asterolecanium quercicola), and the golden oak scale (A. variolosum). These insects may kill twigs and branches but rarely kill mature trees [2].
1. Shumard Oak, Morton Arboretum acc. 540-96-8, photos by Bruce Marlin
2. MB Edwards, USDA Forest Service Silvics Manual vol 2. Hardwoods, 'Shumard Oak'
3. North American Insects & Spiders, 'Acorn Weevil, Curculio sp.'
Tree Encyclopedia / North American Insects & Spiders is dedicated to providing scientific and educational resources for our users through use of large images and macro photographs of flora and fauna.

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Family Fagaceae: Oak, Beech & Chinkapin
There are about 900 species in this family worldwide, about 65 trees and 10 shrubs of which are native to North America. Native to the northern hemisphere, the oak genus Quercus contains about 600 species, including both deciduous and evergreen species.
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