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Featured Plant



Bur Oak, Quercus macrocarpa


The fruit is an important food for many mammals and birds, but heavy nut crops are borne only every few years in a cycle called masting. This is thought to be an evolutionary strategy to ensure the survival of some seed for the growth of new trees. The bur oak is the sole host plant of the Bucculatrix recognita caterpillar.


Bur Oak 2
Bur Oak 2
Bur Oak 2



To develop the above description, we used many sources, including Michael Dirr’s Manual of Woody Landscape Plants (Champaign, Illinois: Stipes Publishing, LLC, 1998), and the following websites: Dendrology at Virginia Tech (, the University of Connecticut Plant Database (, Wikipedia (, and the U.S. Forest Service ( The research on acorn size was published by NRC Research Press in Botany volume 87, 2009, pages 349–356; and written by Walter D. Koenig, Johannes M H. Knops, Janis L. Dickinson, and Benjamin Zuckerberg.


Bur Oak images are courtesy of Bob Callebert via flckr and Dr. Christopher Starbuck

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