Today is Tree Following day with Lucy at Loose and Leafy. I’ve been following a Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) located in our back yard in North Texas. As was the case last month, I’ve decided to show the progress of the tree in a series of tiles. The main changes during the past month? For one, the tree has filled in a little bit more. Also noticeable is that the color of the foliage has gone from the newborn delicate green of early spring to a darker shade. This transformation in color will become even more apparent as the year goes on.
Here are some close-ups of the beautiful leaves of the Shumard Oak. Leaves mature to a length of between four and eight inches.
While inspecting my tree today I discovered galls on several leaves. They’re probably oak apple galls. These galls are created when a specific type of wasp lays its eggs in leaf buds. As they grow, these galls turn brown and reach the size of ping-pong balls. Since they won’t damage the tree, I’ll keep an eye on them and follow their development.
Here’s an example of several oak galls that fell from this tree last summer.
I also discovered lichen growing on the north side of the tree at the base of the trunk. This doesn’t happen very often due to our normally hot and dry weather, but we’ve had such a wet spring — especially the last several weeks — that some growth as occurred.
A great many seedlings have come up beneath my tree this spring. Below are photos of two of them. If only I had space elsewhere to plant them!
Thanks for visiting my Tree Following post for this month. To see what other trees people are following pay a visit to Lucy’s site at Loose and Leafy.