Trees , deciduous, to 35 m. Bark gray-brown to dark brown, shallowly fissured with scaly or light-colored flat ridges, inner bark pinkish. Twigs gray to light brown, (1.5-)2-3.5(-4.5) mm diam., glabrous. Terminal buds gray to grayish brown, ovoid or broadly ellipsoid, 4-8 mm, often noticeably 5-angled in cross section, glabrous. Leaves: petiole 20-60 mm, glabrous. Leaf blade broadly elliptic to obovate, 100-200 × 60-150 mm, base obtuse to truncate, occasionally acute, margins with 5-9 lobes and 15-50 awns, lobes oblong or distally expanded, apex acute; surfaces abaxially glabrous except for prominent axillary tufts of tomentum, adaxially glossy, glabrous, secondary veins raised on both surfaces. Acorns biennial; cup saucer-shaped to cup-shaped, 7-12 mm high × 15-30 mm wide, covering 1/4-1/3 nut, outer surface glabrous or puberulent, inner surface light-brown to red-brown, glabrous or with ring of pubescence around scar, scales often with pale margins, tips tightly appressed, obtuse or acute; nut ovoid to oblong, occasionally subglobose, 14-30 × 10-20 mm, glabrous, scar diam. 6.5-12 mm. Flowering spring. Mesic slopes and bottoms, stream banks and poorly drained uplands; 0-500 m; Ont.; Ala., Ark., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kans., Ky., La., Md., Mich., Miss., Mo., Nebr., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va. Trees with shallow cups covering ca. one-fourth of the nut are treated as Quercus shumardii var. shumardii ; those with more deeply rounded cups covering ca. one-third of the nut are treated as Q . shumardii var. schneckii (Britton) Sargent. Quercus shumardii var. stenocarpa Laughlin was described from several trees in Missouri and Illinois having ellipsoid acorns that were covered less than one-third their length by very small (5.5-7 mm high × 12.5-18 mm wide), shallow cups (K. Laughlin 1969). Quercus shumardii reportedly hybridizes with Q . buckleyi , Q . falcata (= Q . × joori Trelease), Q . hemisphaerica , Q . imbricaria (= Q . × egglestoni Trelease), Q . laevis , Q . laurifolia , Q . marilandica , Q . nigra , Q . palustris (= Q . × mutabilis E. J. Palmer & Steyermark), Q . phellos (= Q . × moultonensis Ashe), Q . rubra , and Q . velutina (= Q . × discreta Laughlin).
Tree 20 - 30 m tall, trunk to 1.6 m in diameter Leaves: alternate, stalked, shiny dark green above, pale beneath, 12 - 20 cm long, 8 - 12 cm wide, inversely egg-shaped with a nearly squared base, five to nine bristle-tipped lobes separated by depressions extending to three-quarters the distance to the midvein, large tufts of hairs in vein axils. Flowers: either male or female, found on the same tree (monoecious), male flowers borne in hanging catkins 14 - 18 cm long, female flowers solitary or in small clusters near leaf axils. Fruit: an acorn, maturing in two seasons, solitary or in pairs. The cup is saucer-shaped with the margin curling under, covers one-third of the nut, and has light brown, thin, tightly appressed scales. Nut 1.5 - 2.5 cm long, egg-shaped. Bark: shallowly fissured with plates or interlacing ridges. Twigs: hairy when young, becoming smooth and grayish brown. Buds: grayish to yellow, 3 - 5 mm long, egg-shaped with a pointed to rounded tip, smooth. Each terminal bud is surrounded by a cluster of lateral buds. Form: broad and rounded with large, wide-spreading branches.
Similar species: Many species in the red oak group have highly variable, lobed leaves with bristle tips. Quercus rubra has shallowly lobed leaves with a somewhat dull upper surface and a very shallow saucer-shaped acorn cup that covers only the base of the nut. Quercus velutina has leaves with depressions reaching half way to the midvein, inner bark that is bright yellow to orange, and fringed acorn cups that fit loosely and cover one-third to half the nut. Quercus palustris has leaves with U-shaped depressions reaching three-quarters the distance to the midvein, dead branches remaining on the trunk, and a shallow acorn cup covering the base of the small nut. Quercus ellipsoidalis has leaves with depressions reaching three-quarters the distance to the midvein, dead branches remaining on the trunk, and an acorn cup enclosing up to half of the often elliptic nut. Quercus coccinea has leaves with C-shaped depressions reaching half the distance to the midvein, inner bark that is pink to red, and a reddish brown to orange acorn cup that covers one-third to half the nut, which has concentric rings at the tip.
Flowering: April to May
Habitat and ecology: Lowland areas, along the edge of water, and poorly drained upland sites.
Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native
Etymology: Quercus is the Latin name for oak. Shumardii is named after Benjamin Franklin Shumard (1820-1869), state geologist of Texas.
Tall tree with close, deeply furrowed bark; twigs soon glabrescent; lvs smooth at maturity except for conspicuous tufts of stellate hairs in the vein-axils beneath, deeply (5)7-lobed, the sinuses commonly elliptic and extending three-fourths the distance to the midvein, the lobes oblong or usually widened distally, each with several conspicuous teeth or small lobes above; acorn-cup flatly saucer-shaped, 1-2.5 cm wide, with closely imbricate, minutely puberulent scales, covering a third or a fourth of the 1.5-3 cm nut. Chiefly in moist, lowland soil; Pa. and Va. to Ind., s. Mich., Mo., and Kans., s. to Fla. and Tex.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.