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
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.