Bur oak

Bur Oak

Scientific Name

Quercus macrocarpa

Order

Fagales

Family

Fagaceae

Type

Tree

Endangered Status

Least concern

Number of Recorded Individuals at the Zoo

40

Bur oak

More Information

Physical Description

The long-living bur oak has broad-spreading branches and develops thick bark tolerant of once-common prairie fires. Its large acorns have a fringed burry cup, can grow one-and-a-half-inches long, and serve as an important food source for many birds and small mammals. The tree features thick, round-lobed, green leaves that turn amber in the fall. Many insects, birds, and squirrels use the tree’s bark, stems, and foliage for shelter.

Native Range

Northern and Central United States, Southeast Canada

USDA Hardiness Zone

3–8

Average Mature Height

70 feet

Flower Color

Yellow-green

Flowering Months

April–May

Supports

Birds, small mammals, and butterflies

Yellow flowers

Second Saturday Garden Tours

Join fellow nature lovers for a free, guided tour of Lincoln Park Zoo’s diverse plant life and ecosystems. During each tour, a zoo horticulturist will point out interesting species in bloom, answer questions from guests, and discuss the horticulture program’s past, present, and future.

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An Accredited Arboretum

In 2019, Lincoln Park Zoo earned Level II arboretum accreditation in recognition of the Horticulture staff’s ongoing effort to identify, label, and monitor the more than 330 species of trees, shrubs, and woody plants represented across the 49-acre park.