The Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa), also known as the mossycup oak, is a magnificent and long-lived North American native tree revered for its grandeur, ecological benefits, and historical significance. Bur oaks are a captivating choice for spacious landscapes, offering generations the opportunity to enjoy their shade and beauty.

What You Need To Know:

  • Lifespan: With proper care, these trees can live for 200-300 years or even longer.
  • Canopy Size and Spread: Reaches a mature spread of 60-100 feet, creating a massive shade canopy.
  • Growth Rate: Moderate grower, adding 1-2 feet per year after establishment.
  • Canopy Height: Maturity brings a height of 60-80 feet, providing ample shade for large landscapes.
  • Soil Preference: Adapts to a variety of soils but thrives in well-drained, slightly acidic conditions.
  • Water Needs: Moderately water-dependent, especially during the first few years after planting and during dry spells. Once established, they are moderately drought tolerant.
  • Light Preference: Full sun exposure is ideal for optimal growth and canopy development.
  • Hardiness Zone: Bur Oaks are hardy in USDA zones 4-8, tolerating winter temperatures as low as -30°F (-34.4°C).
  • Flowers and Fruits: Inconspicuous greenish flowers appear in clusters in early spring, lasting only a short period. These are followed by large acorns with fringed caps (characteristic burs) that mature in fall.

Interesting Facts

  • Champion of Champions: Bur Oaks are contenders for the title of the largest oak species in North America. Their massive size and expansive canopies inspire awe.
  • The Acorns Wear Hats: A distinctive feature of the Bur Oak is its acorn. Unlike many oaks with smooth cups, the Bur Oak’s acorns have a fringed or fringed “bur” around the cap, resembling a mossy cup.
  • Food Source for Native Americans: Native American tribes have historically used Bur Oak acorns as a food source, grinding them into flour. The are edible raw right from the tree and have a walnut like taste (slightly more bitter)


Interested In Adding This Unique Tree To Your Property?

Contact Edmonton Arborist and our expert tree planting team will bring and install your very own Bur Oak!

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