49. Shumard Red Oak

(Quercus shumardii)

Other Common Names: Spotted Oak, Schneck Oak, Swamp Red Oak

Family: Fagaceae

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Shumard Red Oaks stand like six guards facing Red Square in front of Gerberding Hall. Named for Benjamin Franklin Shumard (1820-1869), state geologist of Texas in 1860, this species calls the southern United States home and is remarkable for its energetic growth and retaining leaves late into fall. Unlike regular Red Oak, its acorns and leaves are modest sized, but ultimately it grows just as large. The bark is rougher, and the undersides of the leaves have scattered tufts of tawny hairs. The acorns provide food for songbirds, game birds, waterfowl, white-tail deer, feral hogs, and squirrels among others, but the tree does not bear seeds until at least 25 years old. In nature it borders on streams and swamps in rich, moist soils. It can tolerate a large range of soil pH and is drought-tolerant. The roots do not tolerate disturbance, so this tree needs to be planted in its permanent position.

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