February is here and that means month number two of following a tree with Lucy at Loose and Leafy. The tree I’m following this year is a Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii).
Nothing much has happened with my tree during the past month. It’s still winter so the tree is still bare! Consequently, I decided I’d post some photos highlighting the different characteristics of the Shumard Oak. These first three pictures show the interesting variations of the tree’s bark patterns.
The photos above and below show details of white splotches that are a common trait of the bark of Shumard Oaks. Don’t you think they resemble the landscape of Mars or some alien planet?
The bark of mature Shumard Oaks is somewhat rough and filled with ridges. In this photo, some of the bits of bark seem to resemble lichen.
Here is the tip of a twig with several buds. The bark of the twig is very smooth compared with that on the trunk of the tree. It won’t be long before these buds turn green.
Here are some interesting facts about the Shumard Oak:
- The Shumard Oak is native to North America
- A mature tree can reach a height of 80 to 115 feet
- Acorns are up to 1 inch in diameter and can take up to three years to mature
- These trees will thrive in almost any type of soil and they are very tolerant of heat and drought
- Known specimens of the tree have reached 480 years of age
- Lumber from these trees is used in cabinets, paneling, flooring and furniture
- The tree was named for Benjamin Franklin Schumard, a one-time state geologist of Texas
Shumard Oaks are extremely upright trees with spreading branches. They’re a fantastic tree to sit beneath on summer mornings to get closer to nature!
The Shumard Oak provides food for wildlife in the form of acorns and also provides a sheltered nesting site for birds.
By the time Tree Following rolls around once again in March I wouldn’t be surprised to see the buds on this tree bursting out all over!
Thanks very much to Lucy at Loose and Leafy for hosting Tree Following. Want to join in? Click on the link for information on how to get started!