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Overcup Oak (Quercus lyrata)

The Overcup Oak (pictured below), while uncommon, should make an ideal city tree. The Overcup Oak can withstand significant flooding and poorly drained soils. It recently gained attention as an urban tree candidate when large numbers of them survived severe flooding in the midwest in 1993. It grows to more 50 feet if given sufficient root space and ideal conditions, however, it will likely reach less than 40 feet during its expected service life if planted in more confined areas, and less than ideal conditions such as tree lawns.

The overcup oak should make a good alternative to the pin oak. It has an even branching pattern, is absent of low-hanging branches, and requires relatively little pruning. Trees grown from seedlings show remarkable uniforimity. Availability is still limited in many areas. The Overcup oak is found primarily in zones 6-8, however they do exist in significant numbers in zone 5 in Iowa and Illinois. Trees on The Ohio State University Campus have performed well and shown no propensity for cold damage. Seed source is likely an important consideration.

Overcup Oak


Shade Tree Home Page
T. Davis Sydnor, Ph. D. and Nick E. D'Amato
Urban Forestry Department
School of Natural Resources
The Ohio State University
2021 Coffey Road,
Columbus OH 43210
(614) 292-3865