Plant DetailShow Menu

Quercus acutissima is often confused with:
Fagus grandifolia Fagus grandifolia
Native alternative(s) for Quercus acutissima:
Quercus alba Full Form
Quercus rubra Quercus rubra
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Quercus nigra Form
Quercus alba Full Form
Quercus rubra Quercus rubra

Sawtooth Oak Quercus acutissima

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
KWER-kus ak-yoo-TISS-ee-muh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Sawtooth Oak is a medium-sized tree from Asia that is considered invasive in some states. It grows up to 75 feet tall and is broad pyramidal becoming oval. It can produce acorns as young as 10 years of age and acorns are produced profusely on mature trees that are bitter and not a favorite of wildlife. Fall foliage is yellow, but brownish in the south and tardily deciduous. It is fast growing as a young tree and heat tolerant. 

It prefers acidic, humusy, well-drained, moist soils in full sun but is adaptable to a variety of soil types. Acorns and involucral cups provide a messy litter layer of fruits and twigs. Use as a shade tree or street tree. 

Consider planting native oak trees instead.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems: Potential insect pests include scale, oak skeletonizer, leaf miner, galls, oak lace bugs, borers, caterpillars and nut weevils.  Chlorosis (yellowing of the leaves) is common in neutral to alkaline soils, and can severely damage this tree.   It is on the watch list for invasive species in North Carolina.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Leaves with parallel veins, each piercing teeth in slender bristle
  • Involucral cups like twigs in bird's nest

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#shade tree#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#moths#weedy#park#playground#lawn#showy fruits#small mammals#food source#messy#wind tolerant#deer resistant#nighttime garden#children's garden#edible fruits#agressive#fantz#larval host plant#malodorus#humidity tolerant#bird friendly#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#problem for horses#moth larva#banded hairstreak butterfly#gray hairstreak butterfly#imperial moth#juvenal’s duskywing butterfly#edward’s hairstreak butterfly#white-m hairstreak butterfly#horace’s duskywing butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#shade tree#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#moths#weedy#park#playground#lawn#showy fruits#small mammals#food source#messy#wind tolerant#deer resistant#nighttime garden#children's garden#edible fruits#agressive#fantz#larval host plant#malodorus#humidity tolerant#bird friendly#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#problem for horses#moth larva#banded hairstreak butterfly#gray hairstreak butterfly#imperial moth#juvenal’s duskywing butterfly#edward’s hairstreak butterfly#white-m hairstreak butterfly#horace’s duskywing butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Quercus
    Species:
    acutissima
    Family:
    Fagaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Himalaya to China, Korea, Central & Southern Japan
    Distribution:
    East, southeast USA
    Wildlife Value:
    Oak trees support a wide variety of Lepidopteran. You may see Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis) larvae which have one brood per season and appear from April-October in the south. Adult Imperial Moths do not feed. Banded Hairstreak (Satyrium calanus), which have one flight from June-August everywhere but Florida where they emerge April-May. Edward's Hairstreak (Satyrium edwardsii), has one flight from May-July in the south and June-July in the north. Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus), has three to four flights in the south from February-November and two flights in the north from May-September. White-M Hairstreak (Parrhasius m-album) has three broods in the north from February-October. Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius) has three broods in Texas and the deep south from January-November, and two broods in the north from April-September. Juvenal’s Duskywing (Erynnis juvenalis) has one brood from April-June, appearing as early as January in Florida. Acorns are a food source for wildlife but not a favorite due to bitterness. This tree is mildly resistant to damage by deer.
    Play Value:
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    Acorns (nuts) are edible after tannins are leached or boiled out.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 30 ft. 0 in. - 75 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 30 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruits are acorns that have involucral bracts in a cup with long spreading, recurved scales that resemble a bird's nest. The nut is about 1' long, and is covered 2/3 by the cup.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Golden drooping male catkins that emerge with leaves.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are alternate, simple, lanceolate, lancelate-oblong to obovate, acuminate, rotund to broadly cuneate, serrate with broad teeth, lateral veins parallel, each extending past tooth in a bristle. They are 4-7.5" long and up to 2.5" wide. Leaves are dark green in color. They produce a golden brown to brown fall color and leaves persist into winter.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Black
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
    Bark Description:
    Ridged and furrowed when young. Develops somewhat corky ridges with age.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Bud Terminal:
    Cluster of terminal buds
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Twigs are red to gray-brown in color and smooth. Buds are gray-brown, pubescent on the bud scale edges and somewhat pyramidal. Buds are half an inch long and have imbricate scales.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Edible Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Compaction
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Heat
    Humidity
    Wind
    Problems:
    Messy
    Problem for Horses
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Abdominal pain, constipation then diarrhea (occasionally bloody), depression, frequent urination, discolored urine, jaundice; acorns can obstruct the digestive tract
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Gallotannins, quercitrin, and quercitin.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Fruits
    Leaves