Texas Trees Foundation

Red Oak

Quercus shumardii

Comments: A desirable, large shade and ornamental tree. Planted much more in recent years and is deserving of that attention. A good tree for large sites.

Tolerant of urban conditions, growing at an exceptional rate in fair to good soils. Does moderately well in poor and abused soils. Tolerant of heavy clays. Grows and appears to tolerate restricted root systems such as planting between sidewalk and curb. Responds vigorously to good growing conditions such as fertilization, removal of weed competition and mulching, particularly when young. May need some pruning to assist in good branch development. Transplants fairly easily.

Size: 60-80 ft. tall, 40-60 ft. wide.

Growth Rate: Moderate to rapid.

Bark: Moderately stout, reddish tan becoming grayish brown. Smooth when young, sometimes remaining smooth and almost green-gray for several years before finally developing an irregular, interlacing, shallow fissured bark, gray to gray-brown.

Leaves: Simple, alternate, 4-8 inches long, 3-6 inches wide, oval to rounded in outline; 7-9 bristle-tipped lobes more or less symmetrical in placement around the leaf. Considerable variation among leaves on the same tree. Upper surface is dark green and lustrous. Lower surface is a paler green with tufts of hairs where veins connect.

Fall Color: Red-orange to orange.

Flower: Not showy.

Fruit: About 1 inch long, 1/2-1 inch wide, rounded to slightly flattened, set in a shallow cup.

Pests: Oakwilt; otherwise none serious.

Cultivars: None.