Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sawtooth Oak
Quercus acutissima

Family: Fagaceae (fag-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Quercus (KWER-kus) (Info)
Species: acutissima (ak-yoo-TISS-ee-muh) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

4 members have or want this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Pale Green

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 21 photos.
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3 positives
3 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Timberplot On Mar 13, 2014, Timberplot from Blairsville, PA wrote:

One of the most widely used foods by wildlife are acorns. If it is acorns you desire, but don't have any Oak trees, you will be waiting at least 20 years after planting native Oaks before you see any substantial acorn production. Although I had many Oaks of several species growing on my property, they would sometimes go years between good mast production. I planted 25 Sawtooth Oak on a fence row which started producing acorns consistantly in 8 years. I also liked the fact that the trees retained their leaves well into the winter creating a wind break and a visibility screen. The tree is not a native but in the past 5 years of producing acorns, I found only 2 seedlings in the vicinity of my original planted stock. These two seedlings have not grown above 18" tall due to deer browsing. I would'nt call the Sawtooth a terrible invasive in Western Pennsylvania, although I cannot speak for other parts of the country. I have trail cam photos of deer, turkey, raccoon, and squirrel taking advantage of the acorn drop from these trees. There is no question that wildlife find the Sawtooth acorn attractive. I don't believe the Sawtooth Oak would make good timber as the crown opens up rather quickly. I still favor the White Oak and Swamp White Oak plantings the most. Native Oaks with edible acorns and most of all, proven longevity lasting hundreds of years.

Neutral Gardeningman On Nov 12, 2013, Gardeningman from Kingman, KS wrote:

The jury is still out on this tree imo. It does grow fast, for an oak, which is the primary reason why many people are planting it. However, as others have stated it is considered an invasive species in many areas of the country, if that sort of thing bothers you. The other thing to consider, and more importantly imho, is how resistant it is to diseases in the many climates of the U.S. It may grow fast, but that would be useless if it is discovered 20-30 years from now that it is vulnerable to some sort of vascular disease or fungus. For this reason alone, it may be wiser to plant a native oak tree that is proven to thrive for hundreds of years in your own climate.

Positive killdawabbit On Jan 25, 2010, killdawabbit from Christiana, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

Beautiful tree! It's only invasive in my yard but no problem to control.
I have been growing these trees in my yard for over 20 years, fruiting started over ten years ago but have only seen maybe two come up elsewhere on my 8 acre property. I have yet to see a single one in my area.

Positive DirtDawg On Jun 12, 2008, DirtDawg from Decatur, GA wrote:

The sawtooth oak is a fast growing tree that produces mast in about half the time, seven years or so, of other oaks. It is a very pretty tree AND it is very beneficial to wildlife when planted after a clear-cut harvest.

This tree has been in Georgia for several years and has not proven to be invasive to this point. Possible reasons may be that wildlife consume the majority of the seed as opposed to certain other acorns that are bitter and less preferred.

I personally do not care about the value of any oak as a fuel source. I venture to guess that wood burning in the USA will be highly regulated in the not too distant future.

Positive don_b_1 On Oct 21, 2006, don_b_1 from Robertsdale, AL wrote:

Decent, very fast growing shade tree. Deer love the seeds. Prolific but easily controlled with a lawn mower. Bad points: not as wind resistant and strongly rooted as our other oaks in 135 mph winds. Firewood not as good as live oak.

Negative MotherNature4 On Jan 20, 2005, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

AMEN! Escambiaguy.

Negative escambiaguy On Jan 19, 2005, escambiaguy from Atmore, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I am really disappointed that these trees are being sold everywhere I look. It's native to Asia, grows really fast, and puts out a zillion seeds. Have we not learned anything from the Chinese tallow tree? With the large variety of native oaks we have in America, I can't imagine why anybody would wan't the sawtooth.

It's also ugly, IMHO

Neutral TREEHUGR On Dec 13, 2004, TREEHUGR from Now in Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Has been labled as invasive in some areas. Note, don't let the fact that it's an oak fool you, this is not native to North America.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Atmore, Alabama
Robertsdale, Alabama
Grand Junction, Colorado
Decatur, Georgia
Kingman, Kansas
Clermont, Kentucky
Georgetown, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Taylorsville, Kentucky
Natchez, Mississippi
New York City, New York
Blairsville, Pennsylvania
Christiana, Tennessee
Dallas, Texas

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