It's time to vote on our 2017 photo contest! Vote for your favorite photos of the year here!

Sawtooth Oak

Quercus acutissima

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



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

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


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

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Christiana, Tennessee

Dallas, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 5, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

There are lots of this species planted in the parks of Downingtown and West Chester in southeast Pennsylvania doing well. It is a pretty tree with shiny dark foliage of long leaves with little sharp teeth on the leaf margins. It is similar to the native Shingle Oak. I have not really seen it planted in residential yards much; just a few in a few affluent neighborhoods. It is another tree known much more by landscape architects and designers than the general public. Hinsdale Nursery in northeast Illinois is selling some of 2" caliber trees for about $400 each up in USDA Zone 5. It is slow growing of about 1 foot/year up near Chicago, but about 2 feet/year farther south and should be less expensive. It is native to China, Japan, and Korea, so it is not native here. I have not seen it go inva... read more


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 wou... read more


On Nov 12, 2013, Gardeningman from Kingman, KS (Zone 6b) 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.


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.


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.


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.


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

AMEN! 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


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.