I feel this tree has some real character. Bear with me as I wax poetically. And do keep in mind as I am writing this post it is a rainy autumn morning, I might be a touch morose.
First, lets appreciate where it is growing. The McClain barn is directly to the south, and fairly close to the tree. If this tree was going to receive its much needed sunlight, it had one direction to go, and that is up up. The tree dweeb in me feels compelled to share with you the term for such a phenomena: phototropism. The practical implications of this spacial arrangement is a more upright than usual Bur oak.
Next, I would like to highlight the vigor of this tree. Growing up next to a barn we can only imagine all of the stresses it underwent. Soil compaction from grazing cattle. Nails driven into the main trunk to create a fence. Farm kid climbing the tree and breaking off new growth. Hopefully, I am painting the picture of the true survivor this tree is.
And now ladies and gentlemen, here is where I get all sentimental on you. Yes, its possible for a chainsaw wielding, skid-steer driving guy like myself to embrace his softer side in a public forum such as this.
This tree has the finger print of us humans all over it. The barn inadvertently shaped it, as it grew to maturity. I would bet this barn held the majority of the farms vitality, except maybe what was to be found in the root cellar of the farmhouse. And yet the barn now stands in a state of disrepair and bankrupt of life. While the tree that probably grew as an afterthought towers above. The proverbial baton has been passed, and is in good hands. Quercus macro "large" and carpa "fingers" couldn't be more appropriate.
....as for my second favorite tree....