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Bur Oak (Mossycup Oak) (Quercus macrocarpa)

Bur Oak Leaves Bur Oak is an interesting tree in the Arboretum's Oak Collection, located above the Program Shelter. This species has an extensive range from Texas and points west throughout much of the Midwest, and extending to the East Coast. In Tennessee, it is found in the west and middle parts of the state. Trees typically grow to heights of 60 to 80 feet, but may reach 150 feet high in some cases. The dark green, leathery leaves have been described as "fiddle-shaped", widest above the middle with rounded lobes. The thick bark on mature trees is fire-resistant and is deeply furrowed with vertical ridges.

Bur Oak Acorns The large, oval acorns are the largest of the native oaks, being up to 1.5 inches long. They are covered with a "mossy" fringe that may extend from one-half to most of the length of the acorn. The acorns provide an important food source for birds, small mammals, and deer.

Native Americans used Bur Oak for treating heart problems and a variety of other ailments. It is considered a valuable timber tree, with the wood used for such purposes as construction, furniture, barrels, and railroad ties.

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University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
901 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830 · Telephone: 865-483-3571 · Email: UTforest@utk.edu