Oct 04 2012

The Largest Acorn

Published by at 7:10 am under Quiz,Schenley Park,Trees

Crack open your field guides!

Today’s quiz is:  Identify this enormous acorn.

Here are some of its characteristics:

  • The acorns are huge.  The cups measure 1.25″ across.
  • The outside has a rough diamond pattern with a fringe at the edge.
  • The inside of the cup is smooth.
  • The acorn itself is dark brown (see last photo).
  • I found them in Schenley Park.

Here’s a close-up of the cups…

…and an acorn inside the cup.

Do you know what species this is?

Leave a comment with your answer.

(p.s.  The answer is now in the comments section.)

(photos by Kate St. John)

14 responses so far

14 Responses to “The Largest Acorn”

  1. Sharonon 04 Oct 2012 at 7:45 am

    Burr Oak? Mossycup Oak? (I think it’s the same thing w 2 names) I’ve seen these used in wreaths and other fall decorations

  2. Josh Fecteauon 04 Oct 2012 at 7:51 am

    It is Burr Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)?

  3. Donnaon 04 Oct 2012 at 8:47 am

    Bur Oak – I admit I googled it, but what an amazing acorn!

  4. Kathyon 04 Oct 2012 at 9:11 am

    Is it a Bur Oak, Kate?

  5. Mary Ann Pikeon 04 Oct 2012 at 9:37 am

    My research indicates that this is a bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa). I’ll have to keep an eye out for these….I don’t think I’ve ever seen them in person. I am still not good at identifying trees (especially varieties of a particular type of tree)…sycamores and tulip trees are easy, identifying an individual oak type, not so much.

  6. Dianne Machesneyon 04 Oct 2012 at 9:40 am

    Quercus macrocarpa

    Bur oak, aka mossy-cup oak

    It withstands harsh conditions and is one of the most drought resistant oaks.

  7. Rob Protzon 04 Oct 2012 at 10:07 am

    Well, according to the USFS Field Guide to Oaks

    http://www.fs.fed.us/foresthealth/technology/pdfs/fieldguide.pdf

    it must be an Overcup Oak, but that’s not supposed to grow in Schenley Park. It’s a little out of range!

  8. Kathyon 04 Oct 2012 at 10:23 am

    Sharon…I had to go and look at my wreath…and you are right. There are 5 of them on it! Wish I could take credit for the wreath, but I bought it at a craft show!

  9. Kate St. Johnon 04 Oct 2012 at 10:08 am

    Ooooo! This was too easy. Yes, the answer is: Burr Oak.

  10. Marcy Con 04 Oct 2012 at 8:25 pm

    bur oak….bet the squirrels and chipmunks get a cheekful of these…I think they grow on Penn View…I have never seen these, but bet they would be cool in arrangements…

  11. Kate St. Johnon 05 Oct 2012 at 8:47 am

    I forgot to mention that Burr Oaks are often cultivated. That’s why this one is in Schenley Park.

  12. Craig Meinbresseon 13 Oct 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Looks like Quercus macrocarpa
    The Bur Oak has the largest acorn of all Oaks that are found in the U.S. They love Prairies and savannahs and can survive prescribed burnings. A magnificent tree from the white oak sub group.

  13. Michael Coneon 13 Jan 2013 at 3:54 am

    There is a huge Bur Oak yielding identical acorns and husks near downtown Houston near the intersection of Caroline Street and Binz Street. It is thriving in a narrow strip of City-owned easement alongside the Caroline Street curb and sidewalk. While visiting a friend’s home recently, we discovered the tree’s acorns and brought one with us to ask others at his residence to identify it. Luckily, a horticulturalist was also present at our friend’s party and he quickly solved the riddle. If this acorn is low in tannin, then some entrepreneur could get rich harvesting this tree’s produce! Its acorns are golf ball size and very pleasing to the eyes!

  14. Jo Ann Priceon 20 Feb 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Bur Oak – we have about 7 of these trees on our property and many more in the surrounding area. Squirrels love the acorns, but I’ve also watched deer eat them.

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