State Tree Of Iowa

State Tree Of Iowa

Oak Tree Is The Official State Tree Of Iowa. The Oak Tree was Adopted by the 59th Iowa General Assembly as Iowa’s official tree on March 13, 1961. Although Iowa did not designate a specific species of oak as its Iowa State Tree, But many people recognize bur oak, (Fagaceae Quercus macrocarpa,) as the state tree since it is the most widespread species in the Iowa state. According to Chris Feeley at The Department of Natural Resources Ecology and Management, the bur oak is the only native oak that is found in all Iowa counties.

In the late 1800s, the State Tree Of Iowa bur oak was selected as the most typical tree of Iowa for planting in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The bur oak is a large tree, often reaching over 100 feet tall.  When growing on open sites it becomes a wide, spreading tree. Iowa State Tree Bur oak is one of the most drought resistant oaks of North America.  

It often dominates severe sites with thin soils, heavy clay-pan soils, gravelly ridges, and coarse-textured hills.  But it is relatively intolerant of flooding. If first-year seedlings are submerged 2 weeks or longer, their mortality may be 40 to 50 percent. Iowa State Tree Bur oaks seedlings have very rapid root growth; the taproot penetrates deeply into the soil before the leaves unfold.  At the end of the first growing season, tap roots can be as much as 4.5 feet deep, explaining why they can survive on dry sites.

The State Tree Of Iowa bur oak is widely distributed throughout the Great Plains of North America, from Canada to southeast Texas, and the Eastern United States. It is a generally slow-growing tree found on dry uplands and sandy plains, but it is also found on fertile limestone soils and moist bottomlands. It is often found in prairie grassland fringes and is often planted in shelterbelts.



Bur oak is a spreading, deciduous, large shrub to a large tree. Fruits are relatively large acorns. They are partly or entirely enclosed in a fringed or mossy cap.

Height: Up to 170 ft (52 m)

Diameter: 3-7 ft (0.9-2.1 m)

Bark: Thick, fire-resistant

Fruit: Acorns up to 2 in (5 cm) long

Leaves: 2-10 in (5-25 cm) long, 5-9 round lobes


Bur oak is slow growing and long-lived, sometimes reaching 200 or 300 years of age.


Oaks are important components of northern hardwood, lowland hardwood, and southern pine forests, and forests of moderate moisture.


Acorns of oak trees are a primary source of food for many animal and bird species.


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