Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
The deeply furrowed corky bark of bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) trees has enabled them to withstand prairie fires and provide beauty and character to the savannahs and our landscapes for centuries.
A champion 400-year-old specimen resides on a horse farm in Paris, Kentucky while a lone bur oak in a cornfield in Wisconsin inspired photographer Mark Hirsch's book That Tree.
Native to much of the U.S. and Canada, it extends further north than any other oak species. You’ll enjoy the dense shade in the summer and its breathtaking silhouette year-round. Watch for early spring flowers that hang like tinsel from the branches and large fiddle shaped green leaves that turn a yellowish brown in fall. Its large fringe covered acorn gave rise to its other common name, mossy overcup oak.
Bur oak provides food and habitat for a wide variety of beneficial insects, song birds, ground birds and mammals.
A bit more information
The acorns of bur and other white oaks mature in one year. Native Americans used the mature nuts as food and medicine after roasting or boiling them. Acorns are only edible if the tannins are leached or boiled out of the nuts.
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