Design Your Own Native Plant Landscape Series – TuesdaysApril 9, 2020
Sorghastrum nutans #2 (Indian Grass)April 9, 2020
Quercus macrocarpa #5 (Bur Oak)
-Part Sun, Full Sun
-Moist to Dry Soil (FAC)
-70-80′ Tall by 70-80′ Wide
-Broad, Rounded Crown
-Catkins from mid-late Spring
-Large Acorns in Fall
-Drought, Moderately Salt tolerant
-Dye (Ink) from Galls
36 in stock
Bur Oak is the rugged, picturesque, preeminent tree of the North American tallgrass prairies. The root structure is nearly a mirror image of the aboveground growth which allows it to effectively compete with the deeply rooted native grasses. It is more tolerant of urban conditions than many other oaks and is resistant to drought, salt, fire, wind and ice damage. It is adapted to grow in limestone soils and matures into a very broad, open, rounded specimen in full sun.
This species is in the White Oak group and gets its Latin and common names from its distinctive acorns-the largest acorns of all oaks, and their fringed caps which resemble chestnut burs. Bur Oaks have a relatively quick growth rate for an oak tree, reaching heights of 20′ in 20 years and they can live for centuries. Old, mature oaks are being lost at a faster rate than they’re being planted, so dedicating a large, open area to a Bur Oak is a worthy, long-lasting legacy.
Oaks are an ecological keystone genus which is invaluable to the food web and life cycles of insects, birds and other wild creatures. They are host to some 436 species of Lepidoptera, at the very top of the list for our ecoregion. Innumerable bird species rely on Oaks for their bounty of caterpillars and other insects, making them living birdfeeders. Oaks also provide cover, cavities for dens, roosts, and nesting sites. The acorns, especially those of the White Oak group, are a necessary food supply for birds and mammals alike. Deer and rabbits do tend to browse or strip the bark of young oaks, so protection (especially through winter) is highly advised.
Native Trees, Shrubs, & Vines by William Cullina
Manual of Woody Landscape Plants by Michael A. Dirr
Midwestern Native Shrubs and Trees by Charlotte Adelman & Bernard L. Schwartz
Missouri Botanical Garden
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center