Anyone Grown Shumard Oaks from Acorns Successfully?

Fishman

Active Member
So I am currently growing cherrybark, nuttall, northern red, southern red, willow, swamp laurel, sawtooth, bur, overcup, white, and swamp chestnut oaks. I am also trying to grow Shumard oaks and it is a dismal failure so far. My germination rate on all the other oaks is 75% or better. Right now, my germination rate is a little over 10% for the Shumards. I have 8 seedlings out of approximately 75 acorns that I stratified for roughly 90 days. They have been in the ground for approximately seven weeks. I floated tested the acorns and stored them, just like all the other acorns, but they are not germinating. The acorns are from several different mother trees. Anyone have any luck with Shumards?

I did some research and found conflicting information on the stratification process for Shumards. USDA states here that "Seed has no physiological dormancy and should be sown immediately upon harvest for best results. Fall sown seed typically exhibits >90% germination, while seeds stored overwinter exhibit greatly reduced germination; typically <50%." This page states that "fall sowing in mulched beds is preferred to artificial stratification." The OSU Extension Service recommends cold stratification of 60-120 days and that germination should take place between 29-50 days depending on temperature and that I should expect 72-82% germination. Carl Whitcomb of Rootmaker fame found that you can store Shumard oak acorns for 16 months without affecting germination.

So USDA and Sheffield's recommend no stratification while others recommend stratification. The acorns that have not germinated look perfect. Temps have been in the upper 60s and low 70s since I put them in the ground. I have Nuttalls collected around the same time and planted at the same time that are 6-9 inches tall. Maybe the Shumards will germinate and I just need to be patient, but I wanted to ask what experiences others have had with Shumards and see if I am doing anything wrong. Thirty-six of the acorns are in Rootmaker trays while the others are in a raised bed. I have four seedlings in the raised bed and four in the trays. So has anyone had any luck growing them?
 
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mattpatt

Well-Known Member
In my experience, Shumards are tough to get started for some reason. Shumard is a red oak and they don’t require stratification. So your results after having stratified them for 90 days seem about right to me.


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TreeDaddy

Well-Known Member
Matt,

Being a red oak,I believe Shumards DO require stratification

I stratified mine and got good germination

bill
 

Fishman

Active Member
Redonthehead, I have thought plenty of times why I collect acorns, stick them in the fridge, pot them, water them all summer and then dig a hole to stick them in. It would be easier to just buy the trees, but for some reason I keep growing trees.

When I float tested the Shumard acorns, I put all of the floaters in a flower bed in the yard. I looked today and two of the floaters had germinated. Maybe with these Shumards I don't need to stratify them and they do better without artificial stratification like USDA recommends.

TreeDaddy, when did your Shumards drop their acorns? I picked these up in early October. I didn't realize until a few weeks ago that most Shumards drop in December and January. Maybe these Shumards are different and the stratification process is different. I will try again later this year when the acorns start dropping. I will stick some in the fridge and stick some directly into pots and see what happens. It is just weird that the Shumards didn't germinate well, but everything else did.
 

TreeDaddy

Well-Known Member
Mine dropped in october as well

I am in region 8

As an aside, many started to germinate in the fridge!!

bill
 
After I posted above my hand started twitching and before I could stop it I had ordered 25 more Shumards from MDC. They arrived yesterday. Guess I have plans this weekend after I give up chasing turkeys in the AM.
 
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