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Shumard Red Oak
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Plant your legacy now. The Shumard Oak is a regal tree that will stand proudly in your landscape for generations to come. The oldest specimen ever found was 480 years old! Countless picnickers, tire-swingers, and shade-seekers of the future will be grateful for your wise and thoughtful choice today. But don’t think that you won’t get to enjoy your tree, too. Shumard Oak is a moderately fast-growing shade tree that puts on a dazzling show of red to russet-red fall color each year. The bark is also quite pretty—smooth and gray when young, with a reflective quality. The bark becomes more rough and rugged with age.
- Hardiness Zone: 5-8
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The Shumard Oak grows wild in the Southeast and in the Lower Midwest. It is closely related to Pin Oak and Scarlet Oak and can interbreed with them, making identification difficult. Shumard Oak grows in a variety of habitats, from bottomland soils that may be under water for several weeks in spring to dry upland conditions. Growth is best in deep, rich soils with regular rainfall. The national champion resides in Clay City, Kentucky, and measures 136 feet tall and over 100 feet wide. Its trunk is more than 7 1/2 feet thick. The Shumard Oak was named after Benjamin Franklin Shumard, a 19th century physician and geologist who worked in Kentucky, Missouri, and Texas.
Any wildlife-friendly garden situated on a large property ought to include native Oaks, and the Shumard Oak is a fine choice. Its large, striped acorns feed turkeys, quail, and other birds, along with deer, squirrels, and many other wild creatures. It takes a long time for a tree to begin bearing acorns, however—most don’t start until they’re around 25 years old. In the meantime, the foliage is excellent forage for tiny insects, which in turn feed many native songbirds.
How to Grow
Shumard Oak is an easygoing and adaptable shade tree that will tolerate many growing conditions—wet or dry soils, high or low pH, sandy or clay soils. The one thing it will not stand for is shade, so plant it where it will get sun all day long. Irrigate with the Bower & Branch Elements™ Watering System and feed annually with our Elements™ Fertilizer to help your tree establish a strong, healthy root system. Because of the risk of your tree contracting Oak wilt, a serious fungal disease, never prune Shumard Oak while it is actively growing. Prune only from December to February.
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Size B Trees:
8-10' tall. This stately tree is limbed up high to 5' or more for the perfect street tree. Grown in our #15 tree container.
Size C Trees:
10-12’ tall. Fully developed branching. Landscape ready shipped in our #25 tree container. This tree is big. 2 people required to plant. This one won’t fit in your car.
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