Overview

Brief Summary

Description

Sawtooth oak, a tree native to eastern Asia, is popular for use in street tree plantings due to its interesting foliage and fruits (acorns). It spreads by seed that is produced in large numbers and has been found in recent years to be escaping from plantings to become invasive in wild areas, displacing native plants. Because of this, land managers recommend against the use of sawtooth oak and suggest instead that landscapers use native oaks, of which there are many species to choose. One observer noted that it readily seeds into woodland edges, meadow habitats and open areas. Sawtooth oak successfully establishes in edge habitats that are not managed by mowing or other woody plant control. With regular, annual and semiannual mowing it does not seem to persist. If not mowed, however, it is fast growing, tolerant of a wide range of moisture and temperature conditions and can become a troublesome invasive. Do not plant sawtooth oaks. If small, pull seedlings or treat leaves with glyphosate. To control large trees: cut tree and grind stump; girdle, hack and squirt glyphosate; or cut and paint stump with glyphosate. Alternative plants include shagbark hickory (Carya ovata), American beech (Fagus grandifolia), red oak (Quercus rubra) and many other lovely native trees.

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Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, SE Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bhutan, Cambodia, NE India, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, N Thailand, Vietnam]
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Himalaya (Kumaun to NEFA), Burma, S.W. China (Yunnan), Indo-China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan.
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Distribution and adaptation

Sawtooth oak is native to eastern Asia but was introduced into the eastern United States around 1920. The range of adaptation extends from Northern Florida west to eastern Texas and Oklahoma, northward through Missouri to New York and into southern New England. On exposed sites in the northern Finger Lakes Region of New York, it may winterkill. Sawtooth oak is winter hardy and can be grown in soils from sandy loam to clay loam. However, the best performance is achieved in deep, well-drained soils. It can also be grown on reclaimed surface mined land where favorable moisture conditions are present and pH is above 5.0.

For a current distribution map, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Website.

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USDA NRCS Northeast Plant Materials Program

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Trees to 30 m tall, deciduous. Young branchlets 1.5-2 mm, yellowish gray tomentose, glabrescent, yellowish gray with age, lenticellate; lenticels yellowish brown. Petiole 1-3(-5) cm, tomentose, glabrescent; leaf blade narrowly elliptic-lanceolate, 8-19 × 2-6 cm, concolorous, tomentose, glabrescent or only veins abaxially tomentose with age, base rounded to broadly cuneate, margin with spiniform teeth, apex long acuminate; secondary veins 13-18 on each side of midvein, fusing at serration; tertiary veins abaxially slender, evident, ± parallel. Cupules on previous year’s branchlets, 1 or 2, cupular to discoid, 1.9-4.2 cm in diam. including bracts, enclosing 1/4-1/2 of nut; bracts subulate to ligulate, ca. 1.5 , reflexed, canescent. Nut ovoid to ellipsoid, 1.5-2 × 1.7-2.2 cm, apex impressed; scar ca. 1 cm in diam., raised; stylopodium ca. 4 mm in diam., pale grayish brown sericeous. Fl. Mar-Apr, fr. Sep-Oct of following year.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Quercus acutissima var. depressinucata H. W. Jen & R. Q. Gao; Q. acutissima var. septentrionalis Liou; Q. lunglingensis Hu.
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Ecology

Habitat

Deciduous forests; below 100-2200 m.
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Dispersal

Establishment

One year old seedlings should be planted 15-20 feet apart for maximum acorn production. In areas where multiple rows are used, the spacing should be no less than 20 feet apart. There should be at least 15 plants per planting for effective wind pollination. Site preparation consists of clearing the existing vegetation from an area at least 3 feet in diameter around the newly planted seedling. The seedling should be planted at the same depth it was growing at in the nursery. At the bottom of the hole, apply a handful of 10-10-10 or 18-8-3 fertilizer pellets. Cover the pellets with 2-3 inches of soil. Do not allow the seedling to come in contact with the fertilizer. Water and mulch immediately to conserve water and discourage weeds.

If planting by acorns, begin in the early fall. Plant acorns 3/4-1 inch deep. The seedlings should not be transplanted until they reach 12-18 inches in height.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Quercus acutissima

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Status

Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status (e.g. threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values).

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USDA NRCS Northeast Plant Materials Program

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Management

Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)

‘Gobbler’ was released in 1986 by the Quicksand Plant Materials Center in cooperation with the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station, Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife, and the Kentucky Division of Forestry. It was selected for resistance to insects and disease, wildlife food value, and growth form compared to similar use species. Plant materials are available from nurseries throughout the region.

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To achieve desired results, keep competition to a minimum for 2 years. By this time, the seedlings should be well established. If growth is stunted, eliminate competition and apply a complete fertilizer.

Sawtooth oak seedlings do not do well in poorly drained soils or in areas subject to flooding. If under water for 24 hours in the summer, they will not survive.

This plant has been found to be resistant to disease and insect damage.

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Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

The primary use for this species is as a wildlife food source and cover. It is also a good shade tree.

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Wikipedia

Quercus acutissima

Quercus acutissima, the sawtooth oak, is an oak originally native to eastern Asia, in China, Korea and Japan. It is now also present in North America. It is closely related to the turkey oak, classified with it in Quercus sect. Cerris, a section of the genus characterised by shoot buds surrounded by soft bristles, bristle-tipped leaf lobes, and acorns that mature in about 18 months.

Description[edit]

Acorns from Quercus acutissima

It is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 25–30 m tall with a trunk up to 1.5 m diameter. The bark is dark gray and deeply furrowed. The leaves are 8–20 cm long and 3–6 cm wide, with 14-20 small saw-tooth like triangular lobes on each side, with the teeth of very regular shape.

The flowers are wind-pollinated catkins. The fruit is an acorn, maturing about 18 months after pollination, 2–3 cm long and 2 cm broad, bicoloured with an orange basal half grading to a green-brown tip; the acorn cup is 1.5–2 cm deep, densely covered in soft 4–8 mm long 'mossy' bristles. It is closely related to Quercus cerris, classified with it in Quercus sect. Cerris, a section of the genus characterised by shoot buds surrounded by soft bristles, bristle-tipped leaf lobes, and acorns that mature in about 18 months.[1]

Taxonomy[edit]

Synonyms include: Quercus acutissima var. depressinucata H. W. Jen & R. Q. Gao; Q. acutissima var. septentrionalis Liou; Q. lunglingensis Hu.[1]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Quercus acutissima lives in deciduous forests at altitudes of up to 2,200 metres (7,200 ft) in South Asia and South East Asia.[1]

Ecology[edit]

The acorns are very bitter, but are eaten by jays and pigeons; squirrels usually only eat them when other food sources have run out. The sap of the tree can leak out of the trunk. Beetles, stag beetles, butterflies, and Vespa mandarinia japonica gather to reach this sap.

Uses[edit]

Sawtooth oak is widely planted in eastern North America and is naturalised in some areas; it is also occasionally planted in Europe but has not naturalised there. Most planting in North America was carried out for wildlife food provision, as the species tends to bear heavier crops of acorns than other native American oak species; however the bitterness of the acorns makes it less suitable for this purpose and sawtooth oak is becoming a problem invasive species in some areas and states, such as Wisconsin. Sawtooth oak trees also grow at a faster rate which helps it compete against other native trees. The wood has many of the characteristics of other oaks, but is very prone to crack and split and hence is relegated to such uses as fencing.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Chengjiu Huang, Yongtian Zhang & Bruce Bartholomew (1999). "Fagaceae". In Wu Zheng-yi, Peter H. Raven & Wu Zheng-Yi. Cycadaceae through Fagaceae. Flora of China 4. Missouri Botanical Garden Press. pp. 314–400. ISBN 9780915279708. 
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Exotic in N. America n. of Mexico.

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