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Schumard Oak, bad choice?


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  • Schumard Oak, bad choice?

    Last summer I planted a Schumard oak in my backyard. I got the tree at Home Depot and assumed if it was in my area that it would be ok in my zone (I live right by Minneapolis, MN). Also, after doing some searching I found that the tree is not native in MN and does not like cold winters and that it gets huge! I live in the suburbs and my lot is .3 acres. I bought the tree to replace a Crimson Maple that seems to be dying. Was this a bad choice? Should I take it out before it gets too big to move? If so, any tree recommendations for me? I want something disease tollerant that looks good and can provide decent shade once mature. I planted an Autumn Blaze Maple in the front yard, 2 Arborvitae and I have a blossoming crab in the back.


  • #2
    The Shumard Red Oak is a wonderful tree for a yard. I had several in my yard in Texas. It is a moderate sized red oak. However, it is probably not hardy in your area as it is rated adapted for Zone 5-8. It is primarily a tree used in landscaping in the SE US or generally fom Tennessee South. I believe you are in Zone 4.

    An Oak is a good choice in general as most are relatively slow growers and become a great shade tree that will enhance the value of your property. But I believe this variety will mostly likely die out in a cold winter. I'd replace it with a variety that is hardy in your area before you get attached to it.

    Hope this helps.


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply.

      I am zone 4 and depending on the source Schumard Oak says zone 4 while others say zone 5. If it is truley a zone 5 tree then why would Home Depot sell in the area?

      It survived this winter fine but you're right, I should take it out while I can and while I'm not too attached.

      I am not sure what to do now. I wonder if I bring the tree in I can at least get my money back.


      • #4
        I don't have a good suggestion for a replacement tree since I have not gone through the selection process for trees and shrubs in the middle part of Minnesota.

        I assume that there are Oaks growing naturally in your area. In which case, choosing one of them is not a bad way to go. I would generally lean toward hardwoods rather than getting some quick growing tree like a Cottonwood. Oaks have a slow to medium growth rate, the limbs and trunks are not as suspectable to wind and snow damage, previde long term enjoyment, and hopfully enhance the resale value of your home.

        I would go to a regular plant/tree nursery and ask their opinion on choosing a suitable tree that is both hardy and has a growth habit you're looking for. The owner will typically have the most espertise.

        As far as Home Depot goes, I know they sell things that are not necessarily hardy in the area of the store. They, in general, don't have the expertise although some stores will have a very knowledgable person working in the tree and plant department. I would personally not expect them to take the tree back. Home Depot and similar stores do not buy No. 1 grade stock. The good stuff sells at regular nurseries at higher prices.

        The thing that interests me is after you plan a landscape out, and implement, how do they look in 5 years, 10 years, and then 15 years. Most landscapers plan on things looking good for 5 years (or instantaneously) and many times things will be too thick or look overgrown after 10 years. For them, you yank everything out and start over at least in the shrub department and work around the growing larger trees.