Scientific Name: Quercus shumardii
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
Last COSEWIC Assessment: April 1999
Last COSEWIC Designation: Special Concern
SARA Status: Schedule 3, Special Concern - (SARA Schedule 1 provisions do not apply)
Image of Shumard Oak
The Shumard Oak is a tall tree which can grow to a height of 40 m. The bark of this tree is gray and deeply furrowed. The leaves have three to five lobes on each side and have toothed edges. The fruit is an acorn.
Distribution and Population
The Shumard Oak is a widespread species which is common in the south-central United States. In Canada, the species is known from about 30 sites in extreme southwestern Ontario, in the counties of Essex, Kent and Elgin. Some sites consist of a single tree or several trees. Scattered in Essex County are an estimated 500 Shumard Oaks, some of which may be hybrids. The species' range in Ontario is now larger than was thought in 1984, but its distribution is still very limited.
The Shumard Oak requires full sunlight for seedling establishment and is thus not found under closed canopies. Favoured sites include open woodlots with a past history of grazing by dairy cattle, and along fencerows and roadsides. In Canada, the species is restricted to the Niagara Section of the Deciduous Forest Region, where the soils are poorly drained clay and clay loam. These soils are rich in all nutrients except phosphorus.
The Shumard Oak produces a large number of seeds every two to three years, with smaller crops in the intervening years. The dissemination of the acorns is accomplished by small mammals, which bury the nuts in food caches. The acorns germinate easily in the spring. Seedlings may also sprout from the stumps of Shumard Oaks.
Loss of habitat is reducing the number of Shumard Oaks in Ontario. Fencerows are being removed from fields to accommodate larger agricultural equipment, brushland is being cultivated, and the use of selective herbicides along roadsides is suppressing broadleaf vegetation. In Memorial Park in the city of Windsor, routine grass mowing operations prohibit natural regeneration.
Species that were designated at risk by COSEWIC prior to October 1999 must be reassessed against revised criteria before they can be considered for addition to Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). To find out when re-assessment of this species is anticipated, please consult the COSEWIC web site.
The Shumard Oak is protected in three conservation areas in southern Ontario, where it is growing and reproducing well. However, most sites occur on private property or along road allowances.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.
3 record(s) found.
- COSEWIC Status Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Assessments (1 record(s) found.)
- Action Plans (1 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
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