General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Dry
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 60 to 80 feet (to 150 feet)
Plant Spread: 60 - 80 feet
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Deciduous
Other: Dead leaves often remain on branches over the winter (marcescent)
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Other: Acorns
Fruiting Time: Fall
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Street Tree
Xeriscapic
Uses: Shade Tree
Useful for timber production
Edible Parts: Fruit
Dynamic Accumulator: K (Potassium)
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Seeds are hydrophilic
Pollinators: Wind
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Monoecious

Image
Common names
  • Bur Oak
  • Mossycup Oak
  • Oak
  • Savannah Oak
  • Overcup Oak

Photo Gallery
Location: Indiana Zone 5
Date: 2023-09-21
Location: southeast Nebraska 
Date: 2021-08-30 
Fringed cap is a helpful identifying characteristic

Date: 2013-09-24
Location: Indiana Zone 5
Date: 2023-09-21
Location: Nunnelly,Tennessee 
Date: 2023-11-21
Location: Nunnelly,Tennessee 
Date: 2023-09-25
Large acorns will be dropping soon.
Location: Nationale Plantentuin Meise (Brussels)
Location: Nationale Plantentuin Meise (Brussels)
Location: Kyle, TX
Date: 2020-07-01
A magnificent oak--planted as a young sapling 28 years ago
Location: All pictures taken in/on my gardens/greenhouse/property
Date: 2024-05-08

Date: c. 1865
illustration by P. J. Redouté from Michaux's 'North American Syl

Date: 2014-01-27
Location: Zilker Nature Preserve, Austin, Texas
Date: 2022-04-05
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2021-10-28
lone young tree at Harmony Hill Nursery
Location: Nationale Plantentuin Meise (Brussels)
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2020-01-08
big tree
Location: Nationale Plantentuin Meise (Brussels)
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2020-09-20
3 acorns found on ground, one about 1 3/4" wide

Date: 2013-09-24
Location: Konza Prairie near Manhattan, KS
Date: 2012-05-30
Location: Konza Prairie near Manhattan, KS
Date: 2012-05-30
Location: Aurora, Illinois
Date: January in 1980's
full-grown tree in winter
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2010-08-18
portion of trunk with bark
Location: Exton, Pennsylvania
Date: 2017-07-08
two trunks of two old trees planted a long time ago
Location: Noble County Indiana
Date: 2011-10-02
Branch Structure of a Very Old Tree

Date: 2012-11-08
Uploaded by Anderwood
Location: Botanical Graden Meise - Nationale Plantentuin Meise - Brussel
Date: 2017-09-27
Location: Ft Worth Botanic, Tx
Date: 2017-11-18
Location: Cantigny Park in Wheaton, IL
Date: 2010-08-18
large specimen
Location: Exton, Pennsylvania
Date: 2017-07-08
two old trees planted a long time ago
Location: Exton, Pennsylvania
Date: 2017-07-08
branches and foliage
Location: Indian Cave State Park in Nebraska
Date: 2012-05-16
Location: Kyle
Date: 2019-07-10
the new acorn
Location: Nationale Plantentuin Meise (Brussels)

Credit NPS
Location: Southeast Nebraska
Date: 2012-05-18

Date: 2014-01-27

Date: 2014-01-27
Location: Pleasant Grove, Utah
Date: 2012-04-09
In my garden

Date: 2013-09-24

Date: 2013-09-24

Date: 2012-12-03

Date: 2012-12-03

Date: 2012-11-08

Date: 2012-11-08

Date: 2012-11-08
Location: Ft Worth Botanic, Tx
Date: 2017-11-18
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2010-07-27
two full-grown trees planted a long time ago
Location: Lake Ellyn in Glen Ellyn, IL
Date: 2010-08-20
some trees in a park

USDA photo
Location: Noble County Indiana
Date: 2011-10-02
A Very Old Tree
Location: Noble County Indiana
Date: 2011-10-02
An Extra Large Acorn
This plant is tagged in:
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Comments:
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 10, 2017 7:37 PM concerning plant:
    But Oak is a magnificent large tree with a handsome coarse texture of foliage, bark, and branching. It is common and widespread in the Midwestern US as a forest tree, savannah tree, and sometimes grows in open bottomlands and fields. Its native range is from eastern Texas up to the Dakotas and southern Manitoba, over to southeast Ontario, spots in New England and New York, central and western Pennsylvania and western Maryland over to central Tennessee. Its unique leaves are widest near the end and they develop a golden brown fall color. The brown bark is thick and heavily furrowed and withstands prairie fires. It bears large acorns about 1.25 inches long or wide with burly fringed cups each year, like other members of the White Oak subgroup. I found one largest Bur Oak acorn that is 1 3/4 inches wide from a tree planted in southeast PA that may a cultivar selection. It grows in many soils from draining wet to dry, to very acid to alkaline, about pH 4.5 to 8.0. It is slow growing of about 3/4 foot/year and lives about 200 to 300 years, even to 500. It develops a big taproot, so it is difficult to transplant, but it can be done in early spring. I found a about 18 feet high tree in a nursery that looks like it might have grown about 1 to 1.5 feet/year so far. It is offered by some large, diverse nurseries as a B&B plant and usually in big containers from native plant nurseries. It is being planted in some parks, land preserves, and native plant restorations.
  • Posted by robertduval14 (Milford, New Hampshire - Zone 5b) on Apr 18, 2013 8:59 PM concerning plant:
    The state tree of Iowa.
Plant Events from our members
MrsBinWY On April 24, 2021 Obtained plant
from Wyoming Association of State Foresters and Laramie County Extension Service; received and planted 4-24-2021. ~14" of stiff roots, 18" of softer roots & 9" of height.
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Excellent! by flaflwrgrl Apr 13, 2016 4:34 PM 0

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