An individual instance of Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak)
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This giant grows in the center of the lawn between Rand/Sarratt and Garland Halls. This is undoubtedly the most well-known tree on Vanderbilt campus. It is the only one that has its own plaque on the ground in front of it because it has been recognized as over 200 years old. To learn more about this famous tree, go to its history page.

This tree is part of a three-way tie for largest tree in the arboretum, and is massive in every way. It has a diameter of 149 cm (almost 5 feet) and an incredible 30 m (98 ft) crown spread. Its largest lateral branch is longer than the height of most trees on campus. The tree is actually wider than it is tall (height=25 m or 82 ft.).

Bur oak is one of the more distinctive oaks.  Its leaves have rounded lobes, but the sinuses (indentations) are uneven.  The sinuses near the leaf base may reach almost to the midvein.  The acorns of bur oak are unmistakable.  Their caps cover most of the nuts and have long fringes along the edge.

Bur oak is not particularly common, but it is found throughout middle Tennessee.  Although this tree is impressive, it doesn't have any branches near the ground, so you will have to look at another example to get a better look at the leaves and twigs.

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This organism is a living specimen that is part of the  Vanderbilt University Arboretum  with the local identifier 2-691.

This particular organism is believed to have nativemeans of establishment.

This organismal entity has the scope: multicellular organism.

It has the name "Bicentennial Oak".

Remarks:This tree was known as the Bicentennial Oak and was recognized in 1976 by a plaque as being over 200 years old. It fell down on November 12, 2022. The center of its trunk was hollow, but an estimate based on existing tree rings verified that it was approximately 250 years old when it died.


Quercus macrocarpa


nominal concept

common name: bur oak
family: Fagaceae
Identified 1994 by Robert Kral


Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, US
Click on these geocoordinates to load a map showing the location: 36.14642°, -86.80219°
Coordinate uncertainty about: 10 m.

Location of individual determined from GIS database.

Occurrences were recorded for this particular organism on the following dates:

The following images document this particular organism.
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whole tree (or vine) - general
whole tree (or vine) - general
whole tree (or vine) - view up trunk
whole tree (or vine) - view up trunk
bark - of a large tree
bark - of a large tree
leaf - unspecified
leaf - unspecified
leaf - whole upper surface
leaf - whole upper surface
leaf - showing orientation on twig

Metadata last modified: 2024-04-26T16:24:21.644-05:00
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