Quercus macrocarpa

Bur Oak, Mossycup Oak




  • native to eastern and central United States
  • hardy to zone 3

Habit and Form

  • a large, deciduous tree
  • somewhat columnar in youth, broad crown with age
  • 70 to 80' tall
  • equal of greater spread at maturity
  • coarse texture
  • slow growth rate

Summer Foliage

  • alternate leaf arrangement
  • simple, deciduous leaves
  • obovate leaf shape
  • 4" to 10" long
  • cuneate leaf base
  • 2 to 3 pairs of rounded lobes
  • whitish tomentose leaf underside
  • dark green leaf color

Autumn Foliage

  • yellowish-brown fall color


  • brown catkins
  • not ornamentally important


  • 1" to 1.5" long, brown acorn
  • ovoid shape
  • 0.5" covered by involucre
  • involucre in downy on inside
  • scaly involucre
  • downy at apex


  • grayish-brown bark color
  • flaky distinct bark
  • corky stems, yellowish-brown


  • transplant from container
  • prefers rich, well-drained soil
  • prefers a alkaline soil
  • full sun

Landscape Use

  • shade tree
  • for large area
  • street tree
  • specimen


  • no serious pest problems

ID Features

  • leaves with rounded lobes
  • light brown, ovoid buds, 0.25" across and pubescent
  • grayish-brown bark
  • small, ovoid acorns


  • by seed


'Clemons' (Heritage®, a selection of Quercus x macdanielli) - This hybrid with English oak (Quercus robur) is a vigorous grower, unusual for an oak. It is a broad pyramidal grower that becomes an oval tree to 80' tall and 50' wide. It offers attractive foliage that is dark green, glossy and resistant to mildew and tearing in the wind. This new plant may be useful as a shade tree.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

The digital materials (images and text) available from the UConn Plant Database are protected by copyright. Public use via the Internet for non-profit and educational purposes is permitted. Use of the materials for profit is prohibited.

Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database, http://hort.uconn.edu/plants, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.