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The largest bur oak tree in Missouri is located along Burr Oak Road. According to the National Register of Big Trees, the tree is a national co-champion with another bur oak in Woodford, Ky.
Location: Along Burr Oak Road in McBaine
Owner: John Sam Williamson
Age: approximately 350 years old
Height: 90 feet high
Spread: 130 feet across
Circumference: 287 inches
Missouri's largest bur oak tree is about a mile away from McBaine in Boone County.
According to the National Register of Big Trees, which last measured the tree in 2006, the bur oak is 90 feet high, has a 130-foot spread and a circumference of 287 inches.
In the 1950s, the MU Forestry Club took a core sample from the tree. This is done to help determine a tree's age without cutting it down by counting the number of rings. The sample showed the tree was about 300 years old, making it about 350 years old now.
The owner, John Sam Williamson, inherited the land and the tree from his father. During flooding in 1993, the tree was surrounded by six feet of water. It has also survived numerous lightning strikes.
How to get there
From the intersection of Stadium Boulevard and Providence Road, head south on Providence for about 10 miles. After a few minutes, the road turns into State Highway K and then Burr Oak Road.
Because the McBaine Bur Oak Tree is so old, numerous efforts have been made to preserve its genetic material and reverse its general decline. To do this, many people have taken grafts from the tree. These are pieces of the tree that are cut and later replanted.
The grafts have the same genetic material because they are part of the tree. If seedlings were used, the bur oak would only supply about half the DNA.
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Updated: Feb. 26, 2012