Content Detail

Shumard’s oak is native to southern Illinois, but is hardy in the northern part of the state as well. This species can be utilized as a street tree, but may be difficult to find in nurseries.

  • Family (English) Beech
  • Family (botanic) Fagaceae
  • Planting site City parkway, Residential and parks, Wide median
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Illinois, North America
  • Size range Large tree (more than 40 feet)
  • Mature height 40-60 feet
  • Mature width 40-60 feet
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought, Road salt, Wet sites
  • Season of interest mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Inconspicuous
  • Shape or form Pyramidal, Round
  • Growth rate Moderate
  • Transplants well Yes
  • Planting considerations May be difficult to find in nurseries, Messy fruit/plant parts
  • Wildlife Game birds, Game mammals, Migrant birds, Small mammals
  • Has cultivars Yes

Native geographic location and habitat:

Shumard’s oak is native to the southern tip of Illinois. Found in both dry, upland sites and bottomlands.

Bark color and texture: 

Bark is gray and broken into broad plates and fissures at maturity.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

Simple, alternate leaves with deep sinuses and bristle-tipped lobes are 6 to 8 inches long. Medium green in summer, they change to red in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size: 

Male flowers are found in dangling catkins, while female flowers are smaller and held close to the stem. Neither are ornamentally important.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions: 

Acorns, 3/4 inch to 1 1/4 inches long are topped with a saucer-shaped cap.

Plant care:

Tolerant of both wet and dry sites. Prune oaks in the dormant season to avoid attracting beetles that may carry oak wilt.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Oak wilt is a potential disease problem. Insect pests include scale insects and two-lined chestnut borer. Galls caused by mites or insects are common, but not harmful.


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