Bur Oak – Quercus macrocarpa
Quercus macrocarpa also know as Bur Oak or Mossycup Oak is a large, slow growing oak species. Growth of 20 feet over 20 years is considered average. It is usually too large for a homeowner’s landscape but is a great tree for parks or larger open spaces. Bur Oak grows with a massive main trunk and a broad crown of strong branches. The national champion stands at a towering 90’ with a 130’ foot crown. It has 4 to 12 inch long lustrous dark green leaves that are shaped like a bass fiddle and turn dull yellow-green to yellowish brown in the fall.
Its native range is from Nova Scotia to Pennsylvania and west to Central Texas and Manitoba. Its acorns are the largest of the native oak trees and are an important wildlife food source. To deal with the heavy seed predator pressure Bur Oaks will periodically produce a seed crop that is so large animals won’t be able to eat them all and some will survive.
~contributed by Rowan Bateman