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Native Plants of Distinction for 2022

Throughout the month of April we will share with you 4 great native plants in Ohio. Each blog will contain descriptions and images provided by Ohio Native Plant Month, a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.

A Very Large Canopy Tree: Bur Oak (Quercus Macrocarpa)

Bur Oak Tree in winter

The Bur Oak can grow to be an extremely large tree, up to 90 feet tall and almost as wide. It is best known for its bold, majestic, dark branches, and its acorns with fuzzy caps. Because of the unique acorns, this tree is sometimes call the Mossycup Oak. Of all the native plants, the oaks in the White Oak Family (like the Bur Oak) feed more species of caterpillar than any other. The Bur Oak acorns feed lots of wildlife including deer, bear, fox, wood ducks, and turkeys. We don't often think of Oaks as great for pollinators, but they are critical.

Fun Bur Oak Facts and Stories:

  • Bur Oaks typically live more than 300 years

  • In mid-western oak savannas, the thick bark and deep tab roots of Bur Oak trees help them survive wildfires.

  • Once a Bur Oak acorn is planted, the tap root can grow as much as 5-feet the first year. This makes these trees harder to grow in containers, and very difficult to transplant.

  • According to the Arbor Day Foundation, the Bur Oak "is the most western of the eastern oaks, extending all the wat to the foothills of the Rockies where it is reduced to a shrub."

  • This is a good urban tree, very tolerant of air pollution and car exhaust.

  • The timber of the Bur Oak is often used for construction, flooring, and barrel-making.

Acorns from a Bur Oak

Want to learn more about Ohio's Native Plant Month? Visit the Ohio Native Plant Month Website.


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