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Bur Oak

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Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) – The hardiest of the oaks, this shade tree is singularly majestic, with its picturesque wide-spreading habit of growth and gnarled branches, best for larger landscapes; extremely tough and adaptable but relatively slow-growing, plant for future generations.

Characteristics

Average Landscape Height:
55 feet
Average Landscape Width:
45 feet
Growth Rate:
slow
Genus:
Quercus
Species:
macrocarpa
Summer Foliage Color:
dark green
Fall Color:
copper
Minimum Light:
full sun
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Moisture:
dry
Maximum Moisture:
moist
Plant Form:
round
Canopy:
high
Pruning:
late winter pruning
Pollution Tolerance:
medium
Other Species Names:
Mossycup Oak
Branching:
decurrent
Density:
dense

Ornamental Features

Bur Oak has dark green deciduous foliage on a tree with a round habit of growth. The glossy lobed leaves turn coppery-bronze in fall. However, the fruit can be messy in the landscape and may require occasional clean-up. The furrowed black bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Bur Oak is a dense deciduous tree with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

Planting & Growing

Bur Oak will grow to be about 55 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 45 feet. It has a high canopy of foliage that sits well above the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. As it matures, the lower branches of this tree can be strategically removed to create a high enough canopy to support unobstructed human traffic underneath. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live to a ripe old age of 300 years or more; think of this as a heritage tree for future generations!

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is native to parts of North America.

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