Quercus shumardii                                  

Shumard Oak

 

Conestoga Pines Park, 161 Pitney Road, Lancaster PA

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Named after 19th Century Texas doctor and geologist Benjamin Franklin Shumard, Quercus shumardii is a close relative of the Northern Red Oak (Q. rubra) and as such is very difficult to identify.  "Shumard Oak is what can only be called a botanist's species," says the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, "because it's usually unrecognized by lumbermen and laymen but an object of triumphant discovery to the botanical fraternity." Shumard is a more southern oak and the tree at Conestoga Pines is one of the few known to be in Lancaster County.  

 

This amazing species produces lumber that is mechanically superior to Red Oak and, in addition, is more tolerant of marginal growing sites (clay soils, high pH levels, soil compaction) than Red Oak.