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September 2016 - Bur Oak

Bur Oak - Quercus macrocarpa

The Bur Oak is a beautiful tree that can be found in southern Canada and in the United States, it is the most common oak in Ontario. It grows best in open areas, where its branches are able to spread to their impressive width. The bur oak can survive forest fires because it has very thick bark. It can also tolerate drought conditions because its roots grow deep into the ground.

Take a look: 

Source: Kansas Forests Source: Source: Canadian Tree Tours Source:

The Bur Oak can grow up to 30 metres tall and it is possible that the diameter of its trunk can grow to be up to 120cm wide.  This tree usually lives to be around 200 to 300 years old and is very durable. This species has large leaves that are 15-20 cm long and are shiny green on top and pale and hairy underneath. Its acorns have a deep cup covering 2/3 of the acorn. Bur oak acorns provide food for many mammals and bird including white-tailed deer and red squirrels.

Want to plant one?

The Bur Oak is valued as an ornamental and street tree.  Its widespread branches make a beautiful addition to open spaces.  It survives well in cities but caution should be used when planting it, as its deep roots can damage underground pipes.  The Bur Oak can tolerate a variety of soil types and its durability allows it to survive in drought conditions.  It can even withstand the chinook winds in Alberta that adversely affect other species of trees.  The tree prefers full sun, but can be planted in partially shady areas as well.