The Shumard oak is considered a late-dropping oak, with some trees dropping acorns in November or December. However, some trees may drop very early, making it an important early season food source for deer. Acorn production is fairly reliable from one year to the next, with the occasional bumper crop. Because of this, Shumard oak may be a valuable food source for wildlife throughout the entire fall and winter. Acorns are bitter, but not as bitter as some other red oaks.
Central and eastern US and southern Canada. West to Texas, north to Canada, south to northern Florida.
Uplands and bottomlands. Can tolerate a wide range of habitat, but is often found near streams and rivers. Prefers rich soil; often found in areas with limestone.
Scarlet Oak - leaves are similar; however, scarlet oak leaves are usually longer with larger sinuses than those of Shumard oak. Underside of Shumard oak leaves have tufts of brown hairs between the veins, while scarlet oak may only have a few light hairs. Bark of Shumard oak is lighter gray and smoother.
Black Oak - Bark of black oak is usually darker and more deeply fissured. Leaves of Shumard oak usually have deeper sinuses than those of black oak. Black oak leaves do not have the tufts of brown hairs between the veins on the underside, and are usually larger.
Northern Red Oak - Acorns may be similar in appearance, but bark and leaves are not. Northern red oak bark is usually darker, with pale gray flat ridges resembling ski tracks. Northern red oak leaves have much shallower sinuses than those of Shumard oak.