Monday, November 3, 2014

Rare New Brunswick Oak

Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) is one of the White Oaks.  It is uncommon in New Brunswick.  We recently found two of these trees in the Loyalist Cemetery on Brunswick Street, Fredericton.  There are others growing near the east end of the Burton bridge and in a few other places around Fredericton.

The leaves are distinctive; 10 to 20 cm long and 8 to 15 cm wide; oblong with entire margins (no teeth).  The two centre sinuses of the leaf reach nearly to the midrib.  In the fall the leaves turn yellow or brown and are whitish underneath.  The acorns are 2 to 5 cm long and the caps have a fringe around the margin.  Is this why it is called Bur Oak?  The twigs are yellowish brown, pubescent and may have corky ridges.  The bark is dark gray with vertical ridges.

This tree is at its distribution limit here.  It grows mainly in central and north-eastern United States but also extends into southern Ontario and Quebec.  We are lucky to have some growing here.  Check it out the next time you are in the area.

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