Bur Oak Quercus macrocarpa – Re-establishing a Native Tree Species
The bur oak tree once grew along the length of the Saint John River Valley in New Brunswick, Canada. It is an important tree to the biodiversity of the area. It has deep roots that stabilize the river banks and protect against spring flooding. It seeds are high in carbohydrate and are an important food source for bears, squirrels, birds and other wildlife. It is also well adapted to urban life because it can tolerate automobile emissions. Urban development, agricultural land use and river damming has severely depleted the habitat of this native tree species. The only remaining trees are on private land and not protected. The bur oak is facing extirpation in the area.
Place of Activity:
Saint John River Valley habitat centering on Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.
- The Bur Oak tree is faced with extirpation in an area where once it flourished
- creating awareness about the importance of biodiversity
- creating awareness about the importance of the bur oak to our biodiversity
- Encouraging others to get involved in planting and maintaining the bur oaks.
- Studied the history of the bur oak tree in the Saint John River Valley.
- Established collaborative partners to help with project such as research scientists and
city parks and trees personnel.
- Collected acorns from local trees, germinated and grew them in pots over winter.
- Located planting sites and planted the trees in the spring and fall.
- Networked with other environmental groups to encourage participation in the project.
- Developed and published 2 brochures on the bur oak and its importance to
biodiversity in our area.
- Involved the press to help create awareness
- Take any opportunity to present the bur oak project at school or community groups
- Entered the project in environmental challenges locally, Nationally and
- Developed an Adopt-A-Tree Program to encourage people to plant and maintain a bur
oak on their property.
- Planted over 500 Bur Oak trees in and around the city of Fredericton.
- Planted over 100 bur oak trees up and down the river valley out into the historic natural range of the tree.
- Extended the current distribution of the tree by over 200 km out into its historic range.
- Published and distributed 2 brochures to land owners and at presentations to help people identify the tree and to educate them in the importance of protecting its habitat.
- Presented our bur oak project to schools, community groups and at symposiums and conferences, locally, nationally and internationally
- Provincial Environmental Youth Leadership Award 2007 for Bur Oak Project
- Twice chosen as Finalists in the Volvo Global Environmental Challenge (05 and 07)
- Presented at the 2nd Intl. Youth Symposium on Biodiversity, Ottawa, Canada, 2009
- Presented at the UNEP Intl. Youth Conference on Biodiversity, Nagoya, Japan, 2010
Canadian Forestry Service, NB Dept. of Environment, Local schools, Community Service Groups, Scouts Canada, Plant Watch NB, Girl Guides, Nature NB, Biodiversitymatters.org and other Environmental Groups.
Number of members:
This project has been going since 2004 and over that time there have been over 100 members. Currently there is a core planning group of 6 and others are enlisted to help plant.
Please contact us if you, your group or class would like to adopt a bur oak tree. We will plant it for you and maintain it if you live outside the Saint John River Valley. We also provide Certificates of Adoption.
- "The Lorax", by Dr. Seuss
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing's going to get better. It's not."