One of the most popular trees with urban planners is the Shumard oak, or Quercus shumardii. This popularity is understandable since the Shumard oak is seemingly oblivious to heat, pollution, drought and poor and infertile soils. In addition to its tough as nails vigor it also is fast growing and has proven to be very effective on the disturbed soils of new residential developments where a quick green is so important. And this North American native has a natural range that stretches from southern Ontario along Lake Erie in Canada down to the Gulf of Mexico and to west Texas in the southern United States, a vast area of climate, rainfall, and soil type. All of this adds up to making one of the most adaptable oaks in existence but this adaptability would be meaningless if it wasn't an attractive tree. But the Shumard oak is one of the most beautiful of all the oaks. The foliage is handsome, being up to 8 inches long with 7 to 11 pointed lobes, and the color a lustrous dark green throughout summer, even on the hottest driest days. In autumn they turn a rich russet to a deep red though and is usually quite striking. The size is suitable for only the larger urban lots since it may reach 60 to 90 feet tall with a spread as much as 50 feet. And the form is majestic, large, rounded, with massive spreading branches providing a deep and cooling shade. And like most oaks it is a blessing for wildlife providing shelter and food, either leaves or acorns, for wildlife. And Shumard oak is rarely bothered by pests or disease and almost never needs pruning. Additionally it is long lived, as much as several centuries, making it a good Heritage choice for generations to come.


Shumard oak

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