Sawtooth Oak
Quercus acutissima Carruthers
Fagaceae (Beech) Family

Quercus acutissima is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 90 feet tall with a trunk up to 3 feet in diameter. The bark is dark gray and deeply furrowed. Sawtooth oak is widely planted in eastern North America and is naturalized in scattered locations. 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 the oak is becoming a problem in some states. 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 prone to crack and split and hence is relegated to such uses as fencing and fuel.

The leaves are 4 to 6 inches long and about 2.5 inches wide, with 14 to 20 small saw-tooth like triangular lobes on each side, with the teeth of very regular shape.

Fruit is an acorn, maturing about 18 months after pollination, 3/4 inch long and 1/4 inch broad, bicolored with an orange basal half grading to a green-brown tip. The cup is densely covered in soft 'mossy' bristles. It is closely related to Quercus cerris. The acorns are very bitter, but are eaten by jays and pigeons; squirrels usually eat them only when other food sources have been depleted.

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