Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii)
- Family: Beech (Fagaceae)
- Flowering: April-May.
- Field Marks: Among the red oak group, Quercus shumardii is distinguished by its leaves that are hairy only in the axils of the veins on the lower surface, and by its smooth gray buds.
- Habitat: Low woods, along streams.
- Habit: Tree up to 120 feet tall, with a trunk diameter up to 5 feet; crown broad and open, with wide-spreading branches.
- Bark: Firmly ridged and dark brownish black.
- Buds: Smooth, gray, about 1/3 inch long.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, straight across or somewhat wedge-shaped at the base, with 2-4 pairs of lobes divided over 2/3's the way to the mid-vein, each lobe toothed and bristle-pointed at the tip, the sinuses broadly rounded, dark green and shiny above, smooth below except for tufts of hairs in the axils of the veins; leaf stalks slender, smooth, up to 2 1/2 inches long.
- Flowers: Male and female borne separately, but on the same tree, appearing as the leaves unfold, inconspicuous, the male crowded into a slender, drooping spike; the female solitary or 2-3 together.
- Fruits: Acorns ripening in October of the second year, on stalks less than 1/4 inch long, the nut broadly ovoid, short-pointed at the base, flat on top, up to 1 1/4 inches long, about 3/4 inches wide, light brown; cup shallow, about 1/4 to 1/3 covering the acorn, with closely appressed, densely short woolly scales.
- Notes: The wood is used for interior finishing and furniture.
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