Tree Species Highlight: Bur Oak

During the summer we are often focused on things other than trees, but what better time to take in the joys of the trees around us. Trees provide many benefits, whether we are admiring their grand shape and size, enjoying shade over our houses that reduces energy costs, or even just relaxing under the crown of a shade tree on a summer evening. Maples, elms, and oaks are some of the most popular shade trees here in Edmond.

Of these shade trees, I would like to highlight Quercus macrocarpa, commonly referred to as the bur oak. The rough and deep bark of the bur oak forms a massive trunk that leads to a dense, broad crown, sometimes spreading up to 80 feet wide. Although it has a slow to moderate growth rate, this tree can live up to 300 years and is tolerant of heat and drought once established. These characteristics have led this species to make the list of Oklahoma Proven trees. Other than its broad stature, some of the most noticeable features of the bur oak are its large, deeply lobed leaves which can reach a length of 12 inches. its showy acorn with fringe that often overhangs the cup is another great feature. An excellent example of this amazing tree at maturity can be seen just east of Douglas Blvd on Danforth Rd.
If a shade tree is something you are thinking of planting this fall, a bur oak is a great option as long as you have the available space for this 70-80 foot giant. Sometimes its large spreading crown makes it better suited for parks or homes with larger lots. The acorn, which can get up to 1.5 inches by 2 inches in size, should also be taken into account when considering placement for this tree.