Riverwoods Preservation Council

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Bur Oak - a Gnarly Giant

The Bur Oak is an impressive tree in full maturity, when it tends to be widely spreading with a huge trunk, deeply furrowed bark and gnarled limbs.

white oak leaf
White Oak

pin oak leaf
Pin Oak

bur oak leaf
Bur Oak

swamp oak leaf
Swamp Oak

red oak leaf
Red Oak



Bur Oak Leaf

The bur oak is very cold-hardy, drought-tolerant, and adaptable to many soils, including thin soils and heavy clay hardpan, both of which are found in Riverwoods. It prefers well-drained soil and is intolerant of flooding. Plant it away from areas that collect water..

It is slow-growing, and one of the most difficult oaks to transplant. Its leaves are leather, up to a foot long, and turn yellow-brown in the fall.

The bur oak grows to about 80 feet in height in this area. It has the largest acorns of any native oak.

Bur oaks can live to be several hundred years old.

(That's an image of a bur oak leaf that appears at the bottom of the left hand column of the main pages of this site.)

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© Riverwoods Preservation Council- - Page last updated: December 2009