Scientific name: Quercus macrocarpa
Bur oak – also called mossy cup oak – is a large, slow to moderate-growing, deciduous tree. Native to northern and central United States, these majestic oaks are long-lived and grow naturally in open habitats in full sun. The trunk is large and supports a broad-spreading, rounded crown. The deeply furrowed bark is dark gray to brown. Bur oak grows to 60-80 ft tall and wide. The leathery, dark green leaves have 5-9 rounded lobes. The twigs may have corky wings or ridges. In spring, small yellow-green flowers appear with the leaves. As the common name suggests, the acorns are covered with a mossy scale or bur near the rim. The species name macrocarpa comes from the Greek word macro meaning large and carpa meaning fruit, referring to the large acorn size. Tough and drought-resistant, bur oak is an excellent shade, rain garden, or yard tree that attracts birds and wildlife. This tree grows in plant hardiness zones 3-9.