Quercus acutissima, or Sawtooth Oak is a non-native oak species that has been widely planted in North America from Michigan to central Texas.
Leavers, Stems and Fruit
The leaves are simple and alternate, oblong to nearly lanceolate, 3 to 7 inches long, 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide and rounded at the base. Leaves have a sawtooth margin with bristle-like teeth. Leaves are somewhat fuzzy at first but this persists for only a short period. Leaves generally turn dull brown and are retained by the tree most of the winter and are a deep green color during the growing season.
The young stems are light brown and tends to have clusters of prominent sharply pointed buds at the tip during late summer and throughout the dormant period. Bark takes on an irregular, almost diamond shaped pattern, shallowly furrowed and gray-black in color. Wood is moderately strong, quite tolerant of heavy winds. It generally occurs as a single stemmed tree with a central leader. Male and female flowers occur on the same tree. Acorns are about 1 inch diameter and the cap has long recurving scales and encloses about 1/2 of the nut which takes two seasons to mature.
Windbreaks - Sawtooth oak is useful as the large tree component of windbreaks.
Wildlife Habitat - This tree will provide roosting and food for a variety of wildlife.
Adaptation and Soil
Adapted to the Eastern two-thirds of Kansas. Sawtooth oak grows best of fertile, well drained soils but it is widely adapted to a variety of soil types and moisture conditions. It does not thrive in poorly drained, saturated soils.
In Windbreaks and wildlife habitat plantings, sawtooth oak are usually spaced at 8 to 12 feet in row and 12 to 18 feet between rows. They should be spaced at least 20 feet from evergreen trees, shrubs and other smaller, shade intolerant plants.
This is one of the more tolerant oaks to alkaline soils. One-year old, bare-root seedlings are used in conservation plantings. Typically the seedlings grow very little in height until the third year. During this establishment period, supplemental watering and control of competing seeds and grass will aid growth as well as survival.
Deer and rodents cause the most serious damage to new plantings, however once established most pest species have little impact on the overall health of the tree.
Container or Bare Root: