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Bur oak or mossycup oak is one of the most majestic of the native North American oaks. It is a medium to large sized deciduous oak with a broad- spreading, rounded crown. The young bark is brown, furrowed and rough. The mature bark is deeply furrowed with ridges broken into irregular, thick, dark, grey scales.
Fruits are oval acorns to 1 1/2” long with fringed, burry cups that extend to approximately 1/2 to 3/4 the acorn length. Leathery, dark green leaves 6-12” long with 5-9 rounded lobes are variable in shape, but usually have a pair of deep central sinuses that extend nearly to the midrib giving the leaf a waisted appearance. Fall color is an undistinguished yellow-brown. Twigs sometimes are ridged with corky wings.
Oaks are susceptible to a large number of diseases, including oak wilt, chestnut blight, shoestring root rot, anthracnose, oak leaf blister, cankers, leaf spots and powdery mildew. Potential insect pests include scale, oak skeletonizer, leaf miner, galls, oak lace bugs, borers, caterpillars and nut weevils. However, the bur oak is generally considered
low-maintenance, long-lived tree. Some have lived as long as four centuries.
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The tree produces a high quality lumber used in flooring, veneer, furniture, boats and cooperage for whisky barrels. Due to the thickness of the bark, the bur oak is fire-resistant.