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!
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.
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.
Here’s a butterfly resting among some leaves and acorns of the Shumard Oak. It appears to be a 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.