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
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 (dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology/main.htm), the
University of Connecticut Plant Database (www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/),
Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org), and the
U.S. Forest Service (www.fs.fed.us).
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