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Burr Oak

Burr Oak

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Burr Oak Tree-Quercus macrocarpa
The majestic Burr Oak is a deciduous tree that is also known by the names mossycup oak and mossycup white oak. This is a large oak with heights up to 130 feet and trunk width as wide as 10 feet. It can grow as much as 1 to 3 feet per year. After 20 years of growing, the tree could be as high as 20 feet and will live for 300 to 500 years.

This Oak grows 3 feet a year until it reaches its full height. It will be approximately 35 years before it produces acorns or seeds. When it does, you can propagate Oak seedlings from the acorns. Burr Oak can be transplanted, but it loses as much as 95% of its roots in transplantation, so growing from seed is the most successful means of propagation.

The bark of the tree is rugged and a grayish color. The leaves are lobed-like and fiddle-shaped about 3 to 6 inches long and 2 to 5 inches wide. Each year the tree produces greenish-yellow catkins in the spring. The acorns of the Burr Oak are the largest of the American Oak trees. Wildlife like black bears, squirrels, deer, porcupines, wild turkeys, ducks, birds and even domesticated animals like cattle eat the acorns.

The Burr Oak is best planted in zones 3-8. It can grow anywhere except the most southern portions of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and the whole of Florida. It likes moist and rich soil but thrives on thin soils on rocky bluffs in full and partial sun. It has a high tolerance for calcareous soils and salty soils. This Oak has been known to survive fires as a seedling and as full grown trees.

Its most common use is as a shade tree, but it is also used as a windbreak. The tree is most suitable for large lawns, on golf courses, in parks, and on large islands. Its deep roots can penetrate to lower water tables in times of drought making it very drought resistant.