Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

BUR OAK
Quercus macrocarpa
Fagaceae

Leaves are simple, alternate and deciduous with 5-9 rounded lobes, lobes at the apex forming a fan shape, center sinuses that cut almost to the midrib, and a hairy underside. Twigs are brown-gray, stout and sometimes with corky wings. Bark is similar to white oak but darker and more ridged on larger trees. Fruit is an acorn up to 2 inches long with a unique "fringed" cap that covers approximately half the nut. The acorn matures in one season. Form is up to 30 m (100 ft) in height and 1.2 m (4 ft) in diameter with a broad crown. Bur oak is found in the northeast and central U.S. and in isolated populations in Alabama. The wood is used as white oak lumber. Acorns eaten by game birds, deer, bear and many small mammals.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

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