Bur Oak Fact Sheet
Family: Fagaceae - Beech family
Latin name: Quercus macrocarpa
Common name: Bur oak
Karren Wcisel © copyright
Description of some of photos on this page
- Early spring habit of Quercus macrocarpa near Parking 5 near the Magnolias and Relatives, just west of Crowley Marsh.
- Summer habit of Quercus macrocarpa near Parking 5 near the Magnolias and Relatives, just west of Crowley Marsh.
- Two pictures showing newly emerged leaves and catkins of Bur oak. These pictures are of different branches and were taken on the same day.
- The photo on the far left shows the typical shape of a Quercus macrocarpa leaf, with somewhat rounded top and a narrower waist about half way down the leaf.
- Although 2005 had a very dry spring and summer this magnificent Bur oak was filled with leaves and acorns.
- Photo ofmature acorns of Bur oak
- Bur oaks bear seed up to an age of 400 years, older than reported for any other American oak. The minimum seed-bearing age is about 35 years, and the optimum is 75 to 150 years. Good seed crops occur every 2 to 3 years, with no crops or light crops in intervening years. The acorns are disseminated by gravity, by squirrels, and to a limited extent by water. (1)
Many birds and mammals eat Bur oak acorns including squirrels, deer, wood ducks, blue jays, and cows. Rodents and blue jays frequently cache the acorns for later use, thereby facilitating seed dispersal. (2)
- The lowest branches of this Bur oak rest on the ground, but others reach to the sky. Leaves are dark green on top, but a much lighter color on the bottom.
- At maturity, the bark on the trunk and branches of the Bur oak is very thick, deeply ridged and sometimes corky. This helps the tree resist fire.
1 - USDAFS Silvics of North America
2 - Tirmenstein, D. 1988. Quercus macrocarpa. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online].
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,
Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer).
Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [2009, August 21].
Send email to Karrenw@aol.com
Please ask for permission before using my photographs. Larger sizes and additional photographs
of the tree are often available.
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