Quercus macrocarpa ▪︎ Bur Oak

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Latin Name: Quercus macrocarpa
Common Name: Bur Oak

macrocarpa range map

Family: Fagaceae
Division: White
Native range: Nova Scotia to Pennsylvania, west to Manitoba and southwest to Texas.
Sun/Shade: Sun
Height × Width: 70' - 80' × equal or greater, in the wild
Form: Pyramidal when young; oval, broad, even open, with age
Zones: 3 - 8

Flower: Monoecious. Pistillate catkins (male inflorescence).

Leaves: 4" - 10" × half; lower 2 -3 lobe pairs, upper 5 - 7 lobe pairs. Dark green and lustrous above, grayish-whitish tomentose beneath. Petiole (leaf "stem") 1 ¼" and downy.

Fall Color: dull yellow, yellow-brown.

Fruit: Nut. Acorns are solitary and usually stalked. ¾" - 1½", broadly ovoid, downy at apex, enclosed ½ or more in very fringed deep cap. Matures in one season.

Buds: Sharp and pointed or blunt, pale pubesence.

Bark: rough, deeply-furrowed and ridged, dark gray – gray-brown

Wildlife: Numerous bird and mammal species. For detailed information about insect and other faunal associations see Illinois Wildflower's Quercus macrocarpa page.

Disease issues: None serious

Cultural Uses: For examples of indigenous uses, see http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Quercus+macrocarpa


Notes: The quintessential prairie oak.
See Dicke and Bagley, Silvae genetica 29:171-196 (1980).
Walter Bagley of the Nebraska Forest Service says he has seen acorn involucre not fringed. (Dirr.)

Where to find Quercus macrocarpa in Maxwell Arboretum:

Quercus macrocarpa location map

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