sawtooth oak Fagaceae Quercus
acutissima Carruthers symbol: QUAC80
Leaf: Alternate, simple, lanceolate in shape, 3 to 7 inches long, pinnately veined with a very sharply serrate margin bearing bristle-tipped teeth. Strongly resembles a Castanea leaf.
Flower: Species is monoecious; male catkins are golden and pendant, appearing in the spring; female catkins are borne on spikes, appearing with the leaves.
Fruit: Acorns are oval in shape. Cap covers 1/2 of nut with scales very prominently reflexed - resembles hair. Among the first acorns to ripen in the fall after two years.
Twig: Quite slender, red to gray-brown in color with multiple terminal buds; buds are gray-brown, pubescent on the bud scale edges and somewhat pyramidal.
Bark: Ridged and furrowed even when young, later deeply ridged and furrowed, somewhat corky.
Form: A small to medium size tree that forms a dense pyramidal crown that rounds with age.
Looks like: American chestnut - Chinese chestnut - Alleghany chinkapin - American beech
Additional Range Information: Quercus acutissima is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting sawtooth oak.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson