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Plant of the Week: Bur Oak

Bur oak is our Plant of the Week for this week. The bur oak is a large, native tree that has a special place in many people’s yards.

This large tree grows 75 feet tall and up to 100 feet wide, if grown in an open area. There are some amazing old oaks scattered across the U.S. One that I know of is called the Searle’s Oak, a bur oak in Holton, KS with a unique history. There is a plaque at the site of the tree. https://www.holtonkansas.org/pview.aspx?id=1954&catid=0

slug moth caterpillar
The Yellow-Shouldered Slug Moth is one of many species to feed on Bur Oak trees

Oaks in general are big supporters of native wildlife. It has been found that oaks support as many as 530 species of moths and butterflies alone, not including other insects, birds, and mammals that take advantage of the tree.

I have a small tree in my backyard that is just big enough to hang a swing on. And I recall helping my mom plant an oak seedling at her house 20 years ago-it is now 30 feet tall and growing. One large tree at my grandparent’s house is only 60 years old, but already 60 feet tall and wide.

Bur oaks are adaptable to a wide range of soils and sites. They prefer well-drained, neutral soil, but will grow almost anywhere you plant them. While they have neither showy flowers nor good fall color, they are tougher than many other trees.

You can purchase oak trees from us online at http://www.grimmsgardens.com/shop/bur-oak/. Or check out our selection of oaks at our location outside of Hiawatha, KS or in Nebraska City, NE.

Happy planting!

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