Quercus acutissima ▪︎ Sawtooth Oak

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Latin Name: Quercus acutissima
Name: Sawtooth Oak
Quercus acutissimarange map

Family: Fagaceae
Division: Section and Sub-genus: Cerris (neither Red nor White)
Native range: China, Tibet, Korea, Japan, Indochina, and the Himalayas
Introduced: 1862
Sun/Shade: sun
Height × Width: 40' - 60' × same
Zones: 5-9

Form: Broadly pyramidal in youth; oval rounded to broad rounded with age.

Flower: Monoecious. Staminate (male) pendent catkins

Leaves: 3½ - 7½" × 1 -2¼', i.e. long and narrow, with bristle-like teeth at the ends of the 12-16 pairs of parallel veins. Unlobed. Lustrous and dark green above. Marscescent when young.

Fall color: Clear yellow to golden brown

Fruit: Nut (acorn), cap covers 2/3 of the fruit, and has long spreading and recurved scales

Buds: Pubescent, gray-brown

Bark: Deep ridges and furrows

Wildlife: Food for birds and mammals.

Disease & insect issues: none serious.

Cultural Uses: Charcoal made from Q. accutissima is used in the braisers for heating water for the Japanese tea ceremony. 
In South Korea, fruits "processed into a gelatin-like substance, sangsurinamu" ("Wild Food Plants in South Korea; Market Presence, New Crops, and Exports to the United States." Robert W. Pemberton and Nam Sook Lee. Economic Botany, Jan. - Mar., 1996, 50:1, 57-70.)


Notes: WARNING: In the eastern U.S., Q. acutissima has escaped cultivation into nearby forests, imperiling native oak species.


Quercus acutissima location map


All images from the Earl G. Maxwell Arboretum unless noted.

Quercus acutissima leaf and acorn
Leaf and Acorn
David Stephens, Bugwood.org

Quercus acutissima leaf
Leaf with serrated margin

Quercus acutissima acorns
Acorns, almost mature

Quercus acutissima leaf
Leaves, under side
Hardin Hall

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