We're big fans of Shumards, and most of the trees we collect from don't begin dropping the majority of their acorns until at least November or December and later. Three of the Shumards we collect from always drop much earlier and coincide with the white oaks, which is mid-October in North Mississippi.
We also couldn’t help but notice that these early dropping trees have acorns that are long and skinny instead of short and stout. The early dropping trees also begin losing their leaves soon after their acorns fall while the mid-season and late droppers still hold green leaves. Although we can’t prove the seedlings will keep this trait, we doubt their pollen can mix with the late droppers because they are still dormant when the early guys are shedding pollen. These three clues give us reason to believe that the early Shumards are indeed unique!
We like to plant these seedlings on cove sites with white oak, and swamp chestnut oak on well-drained bottom sites. That way, if the whites and/or swampers have an off year and don’t produce, the more reliable Shumards will hopefully provide an insurance crop thus still providing a food source and "draw" to those areas.
Red Oak section
5 - 9
|Soil pH:||4.5 - 7.1|
|Wildlife Value:||Generous acorn production, eaten by wild turkey, waterfowl, whitetail deer, squirrrel.|
|Site Preference:||Tolerates a variety of sites and pH ranges, but does best on well-drained soils along streams and rivers; on deep upland soils, especially loess.|
|Drop Time:||October – early November|
|Alias:||“Early Drop” Shumard|