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

More Information

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 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, Nut, and Seed Descriptions

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

Care Knowledge

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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