Bur oak
Scientific Name
Quercus macrocarpa
Endangered Status
Least concern
Number of Recorded Individuals at the Zoo

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
Average Mature Height
70 feet
Flower Color
Flowering Months
Birds, small mammals, and butterflies

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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Closeup of leaves on a tree

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.