Species At Risk

Shumard Oak

(Quercus shumardii)

Special Concern

Shumard Oak
Shumard Oak range map


The Shumard Oak is a tall tree which can grow to a height of 40 metres with massive branches. The bark of this tree is grey-brown to dark brown and shallowly fissured. The leaves are shiny above with five to nine deep lobes, each lobe having several large conspicuous teeth or smaller lobes. The fruit is an acorn, with a 14 to 30 millimetre long nut in a light-brown to reddish-brown flatly saucer-shaped cup.

Action we are taking:


The Shumard Oak is found primarily in the south-central United States, from Indiana and Ohio west to Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, south to the Gulf coast and northern Florida, and east to North Carolina. Separate populations are found in Pennsylvania and Maryland. In Ontario, it grows in Essex, Kent, Elgin and Lambton counties in the southwestern part of the province, and in the Niagara Regional Municipality.


Shumard Oaks prefer moist soils, and can grow close to water and in swampy areas. It typically grows in deciduous forest or along fencerows.


Trees in fencerows are at risk from fencerow brushing and field clearing. Large forest trees may be taken for logging. Shumard Oak occurs in counties that have lost most of their forest cover, which is habitat for this tree species.


Shumard Oak is listed as a species of Special Concern under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act. Although species of Special Concern do not receive legal protection under this act, there are several stands of Shumard Oak in conservation areas where they receive some protection.

What You Can Do to Help Shumard Oak

  • The Ministry of Natural Resources tracks species at risk such as the Shumard Oak. You can use a handy online form to report your sightings to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful. nhic.mnr.gov.on.ca
  • Report any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).
  • Private land owners have a very important role to play in species recovery. You may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats.
  • Volunteer with your local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.
  • The Carolinian forests of southern Ontario support an amazing diversity of plants and wildlife, including many species at risk. Carolinian Canada is working to help recover species at risk and their habitats. For more information, visit: www.carolinian.org/SpeciesHabitats.htm.

Did you know?

The Shumard Oak’s shiny, deep-lobed leaves help distinguish the species from the similar-looking Red Oak.

Did you know?

Shumard Oaks hold their leaves longer into the fall than other oaks.

Did you know?

In the southern United States where the tree is much more common, the Shumard Oak is an important source of food for songbirds, wild turkeys, waterfowl, white-tailed deer, and squirrels. Its wood is used commercially for cabinets, furniture, floors, and lumber.

The Endangered Species Act

Contact your local ministry office

Often the best source of local information on species at risk is your nearest ministry office. Call with your questions or concerns.