Oak, Overcup

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SIU 150th logo

This tree is one of the 150 trees initially included in the arboretum to coincide with the campus's 150th anniversary celebration.

Scientific Name:
Quercus lyrata


Native to:
New Jersey to Texas, inland as far as Oklahoma, Missouri, and Illinois

Mature Height and Width:
40-60 feet by 40-60 feet

Additional Notes:
Overcup oak is unusual in that the reproductively viable acorns and their caps stay attached after falling from the branches, making them buoyant.  This has allowed Overcup oak to become widely distributed in the frequently flooded wetlands to which this species is well-adapted and where it is often the sole source of acorns for wildlife.  Now that flood control programs have restricted rivers, and thereby also the movement of floating acorns, foresters have compensated by deliberately planting overcup oak where bottomland fields are returned to forest cover.