With winter looming, most trees have already shed their leaves.
Yet, one tree on the east side of town has held resilient against the dropping temperatures.
The Shumard Oak tree at 1215 East E St., in the front yard of the house of Charles and Ashleigh Horton, was named the Tree of Autumn by the North Platte Tree Board on Tuesday, Nov. 16.
The leaves of the tree, which are currently a dark shade of red, stand out amongst the surrounding trees whose branches are bare.
Shumard Oaks are known for growing quickly and thriving in droughts. The Hortons’ tree produces acorns every 3-4 years, which attract squirrels and birds.
In addition to having the tree of the season, the Hortons also received a certificate for their tree being an outstanding example of a Shumard Oak.
The shumard oak is pyramidal, growing to a height of 50-90 feet and becoming more open at maturity. The bark is thick, smooth and grayish, becoming furrowed and darker gray as the tree ages. It prefers well-drained soil and thrives in full sunlight.
The columnar trunk is frequently buttressed at the base. The lower branches are chiefly horizontal. The leaves frequently turn scarlet in the fall and are up to seven inches long, with 2-4 pairs of pointed lobes that have soft, bristlelike tips.
The sinuses between the lobes reach from half to three-quarters of the distance from the tip of the lobe to the leaf midrib. The acorns are almost as wide as they are long; ¾-1 inch when mature with a broadly rounded apex and a flat base, according to information from Lena Hughes of the North Platte Tree Board.
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