Bur Oak

Quercus macrocarpa
Grows in range of soil conditions. Unique fiddle-shaped leaves and fringed acorn caps. Acorn production during mast years can be messy to maintain. Oak wilt in the region is spreading and is of special concern when considering planting this species.


Climate Tolerance
Wildlife Benefits
Acorns food source for birds, mammals; moth/butterfly host; cavity nesting site; bat roosting site; insect host, attracts woodpeckers
Pollination Type
Plant Hardiness Zones
3 to 8
# Butterfly/Moths that use as host
Bloom Time
Spring (Mar-May)
Shade/Sun Tolerance
Full Sun to Shade: Receives less than 2 to 6 or more hours of direct sunlight
Maximum Height
Large (75-100 ft)
Growth Rate
Slow: 1 ft or less per year
Soil Type
Clay: Small sized particles. Long moisture retention and low nutrient availability.
Loam: Equal mix of clay, sand, and silt. Moderate moisture retention and high nutrient availability.
Sand: Large/coarse particles. Short moisture retention and low nutrient availability.
Soil Moisture Tolerance
Moist - Dry: Soil can be damp for periods of time and can retain little to no water for periods of time
Root - Fungal Association
Ectomycorrhizae: Symbiotic relationship with fungi that exist on outside of plant root cells, facilitating nutrient uptake
Pest & Pathogen Risks
Medium; Oak wilt (less susceptible than red oak group)
Urban Stress Tolerance
High: Tree can adapt to a variety of urban conditions and will grow well
Drought Tolerance
Tolerant: Tree will not become stressed during periods of drought
Coefficient of Conservatism
Native Status
OH-Native: Species is native to Ohio
NatureServe G-rank
Plant Community Type
  • Beech Mixed: Rare
  • Oak Mixed: Rare
  • Alluvial: Rare
  • Red Maple Mixed: Absent
  • Ruderal: Absent
  • Urban Tree Cover: Common
Bloom Color
Long: Greater than 250 years
Soil pH
Acidic (pH<6.8)
Wetland Indicator Status
FACU: Facultative Upland, usually occurs in non-wetlands, but may occur in wetlands
Soil Compaction Tolerance
Tolerant: Tree will not become stressed from soil being compacted
Heat Tolerance
Tolerant: Tree will not become stressed for increased temperature due to urban heat island effects
Salt Tolerant
Tolerant: Tolerant to both aerial salt spray and salt present in soil
Native County Status
IUCN Red List Assessment
Least Concern