Botanical Name
Quercus macrocarpa

The bur oak is a species in the white oak group, native to eastern and central North America typically growing in open sites in the open prairie. It is a long-lived tree growing slowly to 70' to 80' in height and spread at maturity with a large diameter trunk. Leaves are shaped like a fiddle, tapering to a wedge-shaped base; branches and branchlets have corky-winged projections. The common name (bur) is in reference to the deep cap-covered acorn which is conspicuously fringed on the margin.

There are three original bur oak trees still living on the U.S. Capitol campus today.

About the Olmsted Originals

Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted's 1874 General Plan for the U.S. Capitol Grounds sought to create a setting to accentuate the monumentality of the Capitol Building. Approximately 45 of Olmsted's trees remain today, having endured more than a century of urban life on the front stage of American democracy.

Each tree has its own unique features and preservation challenges, and the Architect of the Capitol's arborists employ industry best management practices to ensure these trees are given the very best care to remain safely in the landscape for current and future generations to enjoy.