Here is my favorite tree at the farm. It may not look terribly impressive in the photo, but in person it’s quite a sight. From a distance it looks just like any other lone tree in a field, but once you get up close it’s scale becomes apparent.
It’s one of those super cool trees that has branches the size of ‘normal’ trees. I’m not sure how old this tree is, but I often wonder if it perhaps pre-dates the house. I would imagine I have one of the few places around where it would even be a question whether a huge tree or the house is older.
This tree is a Bur Oak (Q. Macrocarpa), which is probably my favorite species of Oak, and one of my favorite overall species of tree. Bur Oaks aren’t exceptionally tall, but they grow a large rounded crown that is sometimes wider that it is tall – kind of a cross between a Post Oak and a Live Oak. It has large, deeply lobed leaves, and is an excellent shade tree. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Bur Oak is it’s enormous acorns, often up to 3″ in diameter. The bark is interesting as well with a very rough, deeply fissured appearance even at a young age. Another plus is that they are very tolerant of weather extremes of all flavors, which is probably why they are able to thrive here in Missouri.
I’ve only ever seen one Bur Oak larger than this one, which is the state champion in McBaine, Missouri. There is another Bur Oak near this one that is almost as large. So I feel very fortunate to have both the 2nd and 3rd largest Bur Oaks I’ve ever seen at my house.
So if you are looking for a tree to plant in your yard, the Bur Oak is one I highly recommend and it’s one of the fastest growing Oaks out there. You will still never live to see it look like this one, but it will nonetheless be a good tree for many generations!
1/100sec @ f/11
24mm, ISO 250
Lens: 24-105 f4L