Overcup Oak Tree

  • Symmetrical Canopy Has a Formal Look
  • Very Strong Wood
  • Four Seasons of Interest
  • Historical and Wildlife Importance
  • Ecological Garden Design
  • Native Tree

This native hardwood tree has a lot going for it. It’s starting to become better known, and for good reason! We are excited to offer the long-lived Overcup Oak tree (Quercus lyrata). Simply put, this is a magnificent native tree.

A member of the White Oak group, this tree is an upright Oak variety. It has a straight trunk and a balanced canopy. Strong, uniform branching structure looks great all year long. The lower branches are held at an upward tilt, which gives great clearance underneath and reduces pruning requirements.

You’ll appreciate the formal look of the Overcup Oak. It appears tidy in the landscape, and provides wonderful, deep shade with long, leathery leaves.

This very sturdy shade tree will thrive in a wide variety of soil conditions. It can even handle periodically flooded and dry conditions, as well as tough urban conditions.

The name Overcup comes from the acorn cup that encloses almost all of the acorn cap. Brilliantly feathered birds such as Blue Jays, ducks and woodpeckers adore the small acorns. Generally, trees begin to produce acorns at about 15 years old.

This tree provides year-round visual interest with highly textured, brilliant reddish or gray brown bark, accented by vertical fissures. The dark green leaves are lighter green below, creating summer shimmer in the breeze. They’ll deepen into a rich, coppery red in autumn. Fall color comes on earlier than most other Oaks and the tree drops its leaves early in the fall.

The Overcup Oak tree has helped build America. For centuries, people have logged it for its strong wood. How wonderful to own a piece of living history!

How to Use Overcup Oak in the Landscape

Overcup Oak grows with a straight trunk and balanced canopy. This makes it a great choice for a front yard or patio shade tree. Position it carefully to block the rays of the hot afternoon sun.

Tolerant of wet or even standing water, the Overcup Oak is found naturally in bottomland swampy soils or along creeks and streams. In more recent years, the Overcup Oak is often cited for its ability to tolerate long periods of drought and is becoming a recommended tree for dry landscapes.

This versatile tree is wonderful in a variety of ecologically design landscapes – both wet and dry.

Establish a grove on the side of a Rain Garden or swale in a more ecologically designed landscape where water capture is desired. Use in dry landscapes. Overcup Oak trees can create a wildlife habitat on land where most Oak species cannot survive.

Tips for Care

This variety is much easier to transplant than other, more fragile White Oak varieties. It will tolerate partial shade but requires a minimum of 8 hours of sun a day.

For best results, select a full sun location and be careful to check soil pH to make sure that the soil is acidic.

Slow to moderate growth rate means very little maintenance is required and little pruning is necessary once the tree is established. The tree is disease resistant and reported to be deer resistant, as well.

Experts believe that this great variety is underused where it is adapted. Growing in zones 5 – 9 would suggest that there are plenty of landscape situations where the Overcup Oak would be perfectly suited. It will fit into a wide variety of landscapes.