Native Plant Database

Header Photo: Mervin Wallace

Bur Oak

Quercus macrocarpa
Plant Type: Trees
Native Environment: Forest, Savanna / Woodland, Stream Edge
Season of Interest: Mid (May - June), Late (July - frost), Winter (Nov - Mar)
Main Color: Green
Fall Color: Yellow

USDA PLANTS Range Map

At the range map link above, zoom in for county-level data

Sun Exposure 
Full Sun, Medium Sun/Average Shade
Soil
Moisture
Moderate, High, Wet
Nature Attracting
Butterfly, Pollinators/Beneficial Insects
Wildlife Benefit
Butterfly / Moth Host, Food/Small Animals, Nesting
Animal
Resistance
Size

Height:

70 to
80
feet

Spread:

70 to
80
feet
Size
Height: 70 to
80
feet
Spread: 70 to
80
feet
Size
Height: 70 to
80
feet
Spread: 70 to
80
feet
Typical Landscape Use
Use as a regal specimen tree in large areas such as parks or big public spaces.
Establishment and Care Instructions
May be hard to transplant, but once established, it will grow in a variety of soil conditions in full sun. Young seedlings transplant easily in Feb. - March. Protect small trees from deer racking.
Special Features
Special Usage
Rainscaping, Salt Tolerant
Basic Description

A moderate-to-fast-growing, long-lived tree with the largest leaves and acorns of all the oaks. Leaves turn brown or light yellow in the fall. Trees are weakly pyramidal when young then develop a massive trunk and broad crown with strong branches. Red-banded hairstreak butterfly caterpillars feed on decaying sumac leaves and oak litter, and oaks provide food and shelter to a wide range of wildlife.

Oak species, as a group, serve as host plants for caterpillars of more than 500 different kinds of butterflies and moths. This is more than any other genus of tree. The caterpillars (larvae) feed on foliage, but without harming the trees. Oaks are vitally important in supporting nature’s web of life.

 

Bur Oak in winter, Photo by Bruce Schuette

Where Should I Start?

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Where Can I Find This Plant in Nature?

Learn about the Native Environment(s) inhabited by the plants in this database.

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