Like many other oaks, burr oaks can develop into massive trees. This deciduous species can develop a round open crown that exceeds 100 feet in width and grows to be 100 feet tall or higher. Plus, these long-lived trees often live 200 to 300 years.
These impressive trees caught the imagination of Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) as a young boy living along the Mississippi River between 1839 to 1853. Young Clemens played in nearby caves, and he writes about the Liberty Tree Burr Oak, which grew near the caves. Now called the Mark Twain Cave Burr Oak, this heritage tree was planted in 1721.
Today, the burr oak is one of the most common trees in Ontario. Compare it to other deciduous hardwoods available in Dutchmaster Nurseries’ online catalogue.
Are Burr Oaks Good Trees?
Burr oaks develop low-hanging branches thick enough to climb on. The strong limbs also support tree swings well. Generations come and go in the lifetime of a single burr oak. Therefore, they make great heritage trees if you want to plant a non-invasive species that will potentially last hundreds of years to come.
How Fast Do Burr Oak Trees Grow?
Burr oaks grow very quickly, increasing in height by about 1 foot per year. The tree has deep roots and thick bark, and can survive harsh conditions, including a mild forest fire.
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What is Burr Oak Good For?
Common or traditional uses for burr oak include the following:
- Indigenous people used burr oaks to create medicine for heart problems
There are numerous ways in which to use burr oak in other projects.
How Can You Tell a Burr Oak?
Most people recognize the burr oak due to its wide canopy and other unique characteristics, such as the following:
- Huge trunk supports heavy limbs
- Its acorns are three centimeters in length
- Leaves grow up to 25 centimeters long and have a shiny top.
- Straight trunk (if healthy soil conditions)
- Rough, deep bark
- Burr oaks have round leaf lobes that are broad in the middle with a short leaf stalk