Tree Following: July 2015

Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Acorns
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Acorns

I’ve been following a tree — a Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) — with Lucy at Loose and Leafy since January 2015. That means this is month No. 7 in this strangely rewarding experience!

Nothing much has happened with my tree during the past month other than the growth in the size of the tree’s acorns. I say they’ve grown, but as you can see in the comparison below — June vs. July — they’re still quite small. The nut is barely peaking through the top of the cupule (cup). The tree is really loaded with acorns this year so there will eventually be a bumper crop for the squirrels!

Acorns of the Shumard Oak take from 1-1/2 to 3 years to fully mature!

Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Acorns
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Acorns

Other common names for the Shumard Oak include Schneck Oak, Spotted Oak, Shumard Red Oak, Swamp Red Oak and Southern Red Oak.

Here’s a close-up view of the bark of the Shumard Oak. It’s one of my favorite characteristics of this tree. The white overtones and the feel of the bark are really nice.

Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Bark
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) Bark

Several weeks ago, while taking photographs for this post, I noticed that one of the small lower limbs had small tears in the bark, a few of which seemed to be exuding sappy-looking bubbles. Upon inspecting the same branch today I found that the area had totally healed. I’ve been unable to find anything that resembles this in any online information so I’m not sure what the cause might be. We had the same thing happen to several large shrubs a couple of years ago. There was no lasting damage to the shrubs and they remain healthy and full of life, so hopefully the Oak will be just fine.

Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii)
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii)

Here’s a butterfly resting among some leaves and acorns of the Shumard Oak. It appears to be a Hackberry Emperor (Asterocampa celtis).

Hackberry Emperor (Asterocampa celtis)
Hackberry Emperor (Asterocampa celtis)

That brings an end to this month’s Tree Following post! To join in, or to see information on the trees that other folks are following, head over to Lucy’s website at Loose and Leafy.

treefollowinggreenI’m Following A Tree

 

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Tree Following: July 2015

  1. Fascinating it takes their acorns so long to mature. And “cupule” – I love learning new plant jargon – thank you!

    Hats off about the decision to watch and wait with the oozing bark mystery. I have to be careful…a lot of time things that are happening and have been happening for years on our trees become “problems” only because I suddenly noticed. I finally learned there’s typically no advantage, much less any need, to immediately “address” everything I notice.

    Like

    • Yes, I had to look up “parts of an acorn” to find that one! It’s from Latin, meaning “small tub”. Makes sense I guess! As for the oozing bark — you can find so many oddities on plants that you really don’t know whether they’re worth worrying about or not. Maybe these trees have this “problem” all the time. I’ve never looked this closely at these oaks until I started following one, so I have nothing to compare it to, so I won’t worry!

      Like

  2. You know, I don’t think I have acorns on mine. I need to check. Your photos are all lovely–they really capture that “sparkly” quality that I think Shumards have as the sun shines through the leaves. Do yo have lots of birds in your tree now? Especially, little ones like finches?

    Like

  3. Lovely observations! Pretty acorns but amazing it takes so long for them to grow to full size. Do they all come at once, I wonder?
    It’s always a victory to capture a butterfly in a picture good enough to identify it from!
    Do you suppose the sappy seepage was caused by heat? Just a thought.
    All the best 🙂

    Like

  4. Any idea why it’s also called Schneck Oak? Is that somebody’s name? Come to think of it, is Shumard? I find vernacular names really fascinating..

    Like

  5. Nice photos, enjoyable. I’ve not see acorns like that before … mostly cupule. I will have to look more closely. Unfortunately I have to travel at least a hundred miles to see native oaks. Hey! … what a great idea for a field trip! 😉

    Like

  6. Nice photos! I do not know what kind of oak we have growing in our yard but it is a wildlife favourite — the place where everything and anything likes to congregate. I wonder if the leaking sap is slime flux or wet wood which is a kind of bacterial infection. It isn’t usually life threatening as the tree generally will close the wound over time. If it starts to smell sour you can rinse the bacteria away.

    Like

Please leave a comment. You'll make my day!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s