Bur Oak near I-94


A stately Bur Oak tree, welcomes visitors who happen to exit highway I-94 at exit 124, coming into Albion from the east. This tree was here for over 100 years, and was here to welcome visitors along the old Michigan Avenue long before the highway was here. With each season are changes, and some of them are very welcome.

Here is a statement about this tree from an authority on trees from Albion College: ” It’s a bur oak, Quercus macrocarpa . Botanists prefer a different spelling of the common name than do street-namers. I would not want to guess an age, but probably at least 100-120 years old. It’s a nice specimen tree. There are two smaller ones across the street. ”

This was the illustration for General Guide XXX (30) for March 2018.

There were also drawings of oak leaves and acorns, but these did not truly match the fruit and foliage of the bur oak tree.

Interesting information about Bur Oaks in Texas:

Quercus macrocarpa, the oak with the large fruit.  Even his description is a bit of an understatement considering this oak can grow to exceed 80 feet in height, have leaves longer than 10 inches, and grow acorns the size of lemons.  Bur oak, which is also known as mossycup oak and is sometimes spelled with and extra “r”, gets its common name from the distinctively rough and shaggy acorn cap that can often enclose much of the acorn itself.  The acorns are a highly desirable food source for wildlife, but their size alone provides a challenge for squirrels anxious to dig a hole large enough to bury them or to find the strength to hoist them to their cache.  To a squirrel or other wildlife, bur oak acorns are like a huge steak dinner.”


Tree Species Profiles – Bur Oak

To learn more about trees in Albion, including the bur oak, visit this page: http://campus.albion.edu/albiontrees/bur-oak/

Adapted quote from this page:

“Albion, like many other midwestern cities, has a ‘Burr Oak Street’ named after this tree. The middle English spelling variant ‘bur’ has been used traditionally and more or less adopted by botanists as the spelling for the common name of this species.

The bur oak has relatively long, fuzzy bracts on the acorn cap that make the acorn look a little like a burr that could stick to clothing or fur.   It’s also known as a mossycup oak.  At Albion College, biology students and their professor refer to the bur oak as the ‘T. rex’ of oak trees.  The trunks may be massive, but they often sprout wimpy branches near the base, not unlike the relatively tiny forelimbs of a massive tyrannosaur.”