Bur Oak TreeQuercus macrocarpa
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Planting a tree is an act of faith in the future, and oak trees live longer than almost any other tree. For a beautiful, rugged specimen or shade tree on a lawn, you can’t beat the Bur Oak. This American native white oak is one of the fastest growing oaks, and the one most tolerant of urban conditions. Young trees grow 12 to 24 inches a year, and soon develop into handsome specimens. Their large, leathery leaves create dense shade to keep you cool in summer, and the broad crown makes for a grand look. You are also helping wildlife, since the large acorns are a valuable winter food for both animals and birds. For a shade tree or to develop a wooded area, the Bur Oak cannot be beaten.
Plant the Bur Oak tree in full sun, in almost any soil. It will grow in clay or sand, and once established it is very drought tolerant. Yet it also tolerates periods of flooding, such as during the spring thaw. It is hardy even in zone 5, but it also grows well in the heat and drought of Texas. This tree literally lives for hundreds of years, and it is almost never affected by the minor pests or diseases that may be seen on it. For a real investment in the future, which also grows quickly and that will be a handsome small tree in a few years, nothing beats the Bur Oak.
Oak trees have a special beauty, and these symbols of long-life should be the first choice when looking for durable and attractive large trees to plant. Of all the oaks, the Bur Oak is one of the most adaptable, growing all the way from Anchorage, Alaska to Mission, Texas. It grows on a wide range of soil types, and it is both drought resistant and resistant to periods of flooding. This native American tree is a great choice for natural planting, and an important food source for many animals. To top it all off, it is beautiful too, with a wide spreading crown, striking large leaves, and heavy crops of large acorns.
The Bur Oak is a large, spreading, deciduous tree which in time will reach at least 60 feet in height, and often more, even up to 150 feet in exceptional situations. It will spread as wide as it is tall. Younger trees have an upright, conical shape, but as the tree matures it becomes more spreading, so that older trees have a broad, rounded crown covering a considerable area. The leaves are large, between 6 and 12 inches long, deep green and with a leathery texture. They are deeply divided into 5 to 9 lobes, typically with two deep divisions around the middle of the leaf, giving it a characteristic ‘waisted’ look. In fall the leaves turn yellow brown. The bark is medium gray in color, thick and rugged, with deep vertical furrows when it is mature.
This majestic tree is a magnificent specimen for a large lawn, or along a property boundary. Plant it among existing trees, in an open sunny spot. When planting be careful to allow enough room for the mature tree. Plant at least 25 feet from any buildings, and well within your property line. For an avenue or screen, plant 40 feet apart, or more. With its dense crown this is a wonderful shade tree for a larger property. It is also ideal for developing natural areas, as it grows naturally in America. It is one of the fastest growing oak trees, and young trees grow 12 to 24 inches, or even more, in a year, so that a tree will be at least 20 feet tall within 20 years. This is a very long-lived tree – you are ‘planting for the future’ – and trees normally live 200 to 300 years, and even up to 400 years.
Plant the Bur Oak in a sunny spot – unlike some other deciduous trees it is not shade tolerant when young. It will grow well in almost any soil, becoming largest in deep, moist, well-drained soils. It tolerates both sandy soil and clay, and once established it is very drought resistant and grows well in drier types of soil. Water regularly during the first few seasons. Although oak trees in general have a variety of pests and leaf diseases, these are only very rarely important, and this tree is very low-maintenance, reliable and very long-lived. It is also the best of all the oak trees for urban areas, tolerating poor urban conditions much better than other types of oak.
When mature, trees begin to flower, with inconspicuous clusters of greenish-yellow flowers hidden among the spring leaves. These develop to produce large acorns, up to 1½ inches long. These sit in a deep cup, which has a fringed and highly textured surface. This give the tree its alternative name of mossycup oak. These acorns are edible, and they were an important food for both native Americans and early settlers. They are also a valuable winter food for a wide variety of animals and birds. The heaviest acorn crops develop if you have several trees growing near each other, or in the same neighborhood.
The Bur Oak, Quercus macrocarpa, grows naturally across a large part of America. It belongs to the larger grouping called ‘white oaks’. It can be found growing naturally in the eastern and central states, around the Great Lakes, and up into southern Canada. Unlike many other large trees, it is not found in dense forests, but rather in open prairie areas, because it prefers to be in full sun. Also, this tree’s thick bark gives it fire protection, so it survives on the prairies where other trees are destroyed by fire. Our plants are produced by seed, from carefully selected acorns taken from the best-quality and most attractive trees. These are carefully grown for several years to produce sturdy and well-balanced saplings trees, ready to quickly establish themselves in your garden. Because of the long production time, these trees are not widely available, and our stock will not last long. So, plant a tree, and choose the Bur Oak now, while we still have trees available.
The best time to plant a Bur Oak tree is in the early spring or fall. This allows the tree to establish its root system before the hot summer months or harsh winter conditions. However, due to its adaptability and hardiness, the Bur Oak can be planted at almost any time of the year as long as it is properly cared for.
While Bur Oak trees are drought resistant, they do benefit from regular watering, especially in the first few years after planting. Water the tree deeply once a week, allowing the water to soak into the soil. Once the tree is established, it can tolerate longer periods without water, but it’s still a good idea to give it a deep watering during extended periods of dry weather.
The acorns produced by the Bur Oak tree are a favorite food source for many types of wildlife. You can expect to attract squirrels, deer, and a variety of birds, including blue jays and woodpeckers. The tree also provides excellent cover and nesting sites for birds.
To ensure your Bur Oak tree grows healthy and strong, plant it in a sunny location and water it regularly, especially in the first few years. While it can tolerate a range of soil types, it will thrive in deep, well-drained soil. Regular pruning can also help maintain its health and shape, but be sure to only prune during the dormant season to avoid disease.
Due to their large size at maturity, Bur Oak trees should be planted at least 25 feet away from any buildings. This ensures that the tree has plenty of room to grow and prevents potential damage to buildings from the tree’s root system or falling branches.
There are many benefits to planting a Bur Oak tree. Not only do they add beauty and majesty to your landscape, but they also provide dense shade, making them an excellent choice for a shade tree. They are very tolerant of different conditions, making them a low-maintenance choice. Additionally, they are an important food source for many animals, so by planting a Bur Oak, you are contributing to your local ecosystem.
Bur Oak trees are one of the fastest growing oak trees. Young trees can grow 12 to 24 inches, or even more, in a year. This means that a tree can be at least 20 feet tall within 20 years. However, growth rate can vary depending on the tree’s conditions and care.
Bur Oak trees are very low-maintenance. They are adaptable to a wide range of soil types and are both drought resistant and resistant to periods of flooding. While they do benefit from regular watering, especially in the first few years, and occasional pruning, they do not require a lot of ongoing care.
Bur Oak trees are very adaptable and can tolerate a wide range of soil types. They can grow in both sandy soil and clay. However, they will thrive in deep, moist, well-drained soils. Despite their adaptability, it’s always a good idea to amend your soil with compost or other organic matter to provide the tree with the nutrients it needs to grow.
Bur Oak trees are very resistant to pests and diseases. While oak trees in general can be affected by a variety of pests and leaf diseases, these are only very rarely important for Bur Oak trees. This makes them a very low-maintenance and reliable choice for your landscape.