The Quercus Macrocarpa
is commonly known as Blue Oak
, Bur Oak
, Mossy-overcup Oak
, Mossycup Oak
, as well as Scrub Oak< Go Back
Bur oak is widely distributed throughout much of the north-central
United States and the eastern Great Plains [40
]. It occurs from
southern New Brunswick and New England westward to the Dakotas and
southeastern Montana, and south to Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee
]. Bur oak is locally common in Louisiana and Alabama [19
Quercus macrocarpa var. olivaeformis is largely restricted to Iowa,
Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Quercus macrocarpa var.
depressa occurs mostly along the western margin of the Great Plains
The fully documented scientific species name is Quercus macrocarpa
Michx. Widely recognized varieties are [14
Q. m. var. depressa (Nutt.) Engelm.
Q. m. var. olivaeformis (Michx. f.) A. Gray
Q. m. var. macrocarpa
Bur oak is a member of the white oaks (Lepidobalanus) [20
subgenus is noted for widespread hybridization and many intermediate
forms. Bur oak hybridizes with numerous species including northern
pin oak (Q. ellipsoidalis), white oak (Q. alba), swamp white oak (Q.
bicolor), overcup oak (Q. lyrata), swamp chestnut oak (Q. michauxii),
chinkapin oak (Q. muehlenbergii), post oak (Q. stellata), live oak (Q.
virginiana), and Gambel oak (Q. gambelii) [19
Bur oak is an important dominant in many plant communities.
Publications naming bur oak in habitat type, community type, or plant
asociation classifications are:
Classification of the forest vegetation of Wyoming 
Upland hardwood habitat types in southwestern North Dakota 
Upland forest and woddland habitat of the Missouri Plateau, Great Plains
Forest vegetation of the Routt National Forest in northwestern Colorado:
a habitat classification 
Plant assocaitions of Region 2: Potential plant communities of Wyoming,
South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas 
Composition and structure of the principle woody vegetation types in the
North Dakota Badlands 
A classification of the Cercocarpus mantanus, Quercus macrocarpa,
Populus deltoides, & Picea glauca habitat types of the Black Hills NF 
< Go Back
Much of the information presented here is attributed to:
Tirmenstein, D. 1988. Quercus macrocarpa. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online].
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,
Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available at USDA Forest Service.