Bur oak, Quercus macrocarpa Michaux, does not root readily from cuttings, and is considered a recalcitrant species. A method producing industry-acceptable levels of rooted cuttings has not been determined. In this study, we explored the possibility of a physical barrier to root initiation. Bur oak stems exhibit a pentarch vascular cylinder, with roots and leaf traces only initiating at the five “points” of the vascular system. External to this vascular system is a series of sclerified tissue, both fibers and sclerenchyma. Both light microscopy and electron microscopy were utilized to determine whether a combination hedging and etiolation treatment of parent plants would inhibit formation of sclerified tissues.