Tom's Blog

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bur oak grub growing on hard rock

Bur oaks are amazing trees! Long-lived, powerful, fire-resistant, and providing great ecological support for a wide range of creatures. In fact, many long-lived bur oaks are not giant trees, but small ones called grubs, only a few feet tall, but with quite large root systems.

Yesterday we were in the middle of an extensive woodland sunflower survey when Kathie discovered this small but powerful bur oak with two good-sized acorns. It is growing right out of the dolomite on the East Overlook. It's hard to know how old this tree is, and it is interesting to speculate how it survives. Its root system should be quite interesting.

Bur oak grub growing out of the dolomite, with two acorns.

The East Overlook has always been one of my favorite spots at Pleasant Valley Conservancy because it gives great views out over the valley, the prairies and savannas, has a lot of interesting rock formations, and is surrounded by a very nice grove of open-grown bur oaks.

The Short Loop Trail (reached by this link) goes right by the East Overlook in either direction.


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