Shumard Oak

Description: 

A medium to large-sized tree with a tall, straight trunk, stout branches and a large, open crown.

Leaves alternate, simple, 6–8 inches long; with 5-9 lobes with 2–6 bristle-tipped teeth, lobes wider at their tip than at their base, notches between lobes rounded, over halfway to central vein. Upper surface dark green, shiny, smooth; lower surface paler, smooth, with tufts of hairs in the vein axils. Leaves turn red in autumn and are usually the first of the oaks to turn color.

Bark dark gray to reddish-brown, smooth when young, breaking into thick, flat, scaly ridges with shallow grooves with age.

Twigs moderately stout, reddish- or grayish brown, smooth, shiny.

Flowers April–May, in catkins.

Fruits September–October, acorn solitary or paired, reddish-brown, egg-shaped to 2–4 times longer than broad, rounded or flattened at the base, ½–1 inch long; cup covering a quarter to a third of the nut, shallow, thick; acorns ripening in autumn of the second year.

Size: 
Height: to 100 feet.
Habitat and conservation: 
One of the largest of the southern red oaks. Occurs in dry, rocky upland woods and borders of glades; also in valleys and along banks of larger Ozark streams, drainages and river bottoms. A moderately fast-growing, long-lived tree but not much used as an ornamental. It would make a good alternative to northern red oak because it tolerates wetter and drier sites while having otherwise similar features.
Distribution in Missouri: 
Nearly statewide; primarily in the southern three-quarters of the state.
Human connections: 
The wood is commercially valuable for cabinets, furniture, flooring, trim, lumber and fuel. Because of its large size and noble bearing, Shumard oak also makes a handsome shade tree. This tree honors the memory of Benjamin Franklin Schumard (1820–1869), who was the state geologist of Texas.
Ecosystem connections: 
The acorns provide food for wildlife, including birds and mammals; the tree (living and dead) provides nesting space, cover and den sites for a variety of animals. Even the shade created by trees such as this is a valuable commodity for organisms that cannot bear full sun.