What Shumard oak looks like

Size and shape

  • Reaches 40 metres high.
  • Trunk reaches up to 90 centimetres in diameter.


  • Dark shiny green leaves (12 to 20 centimetres long).
  • Leaves have 7 to 11 toothed lobes separated by deep narrow notches.
  • Leaves turn red in fall.


  • Dark grey and furrowed bark.


  • Male flowers are small catkins.
  • Female flowers grow individually or in small clusters of spikes.
  • Flowers bloom when leaves emerge in spring.


  • Large and slightly hairy acorns (15 to 30 millimetres long and wide).
  • Grey cup covers about one third of the nut.
  • Striped with brown and black lines.

Where Shumard oak is found

Shumard oak is at the northern edge of its range in Southern Ontario and is considered a species at risk. It is found in in Kent, Elgin, Essex and Lambton counties near Lake Erie in Southwestern Ontario and in the Niagara Region.

Find out what we are doing to protect Shumard oak by reading the management plan.

What you need to know to grow Shumard oak

  • Moisture: grows best in moist, well drained soils but will tolerate some drought.
  • Soil: grows best in heavier soils but will also grow in loamy soils and thrives in both acidic and alkaline conditions.
  • Shade: grows best in full sun.
  • Cautions:
    • Oak wilt is caused by an invasive fungus that has been found in Southern Ontario. To minimize the risk of oak wilt, prune trees before April or after July, when beetles thought to transport the fungus are less active.

Benefits and uses of Shumard oak

Wildlife benefits

Shumard oak acorns are a food source for birds and many mammals, such as squirrels and white-tailed deer. The trees provide cover and nesting sites to wildlife and are a host for Horace’s duskywing butterfly larvae.

Commercial uses

Shumard oak wood is hard and strong and can be used to make:

  • cabinetry
  • furniture
  • interior trim
  • flooring

Fun facts about Shumard Oak

  • Shumard oak trees can live more than 200 years.
  • Shumard oak is an excellent shade tree with trees growing as wide as they do tall.