How to Grow Sawtooth Oak Trees


The sawtooth oak (Quercus accitimus) is one of the fastest-growing oak tree species. The trees are native to Asia, but have become quite prominent in the United States as ornamental and wildlife foraging trees. The trees normally attain a height of around 70 feet. The sawtooth oak is easy to grow and maintain, which makes it ideal for any landscape setting that needs a large shade tree that attracts an abundance of wildlife.

Step 1

Choose a planting location that offers ample sunlight throughout the day. Seedlings should be spaced a minimum of 25-feet apart; therefore, an acre of land can maintain between 10 to 25 sawtooth oaks. The trees prefer sandy, well-drained loam soil, but can also live in clay-based loam.

Step 2

Prepare the planting site in late spring. Dig a hole twice as large as the sawtooth oak seedlings' root system. Mix organic material into the soil to enrich it at a ratio of 50 percent organic material with 50 percent garden soil. Peat moss, sawdust or decomposing leaves can be used.

Step 3

Plant seedlings at the same depth as they were planted at the nursery. Gently cover the root system with soil, and tamp down to remove any air pockets.

Step 4

Water the tree thoroughly. Add 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the base to help retain moisture, keep weeds at bay and add nutrients to the soil. Peat moss, sawdust, bark chips or pine needles make excellent mulches. Continue to keep the tree moist once planted, but do not water-log the roots.

Step 5

Fertilize the tree one month after planting with a 10-10-10 basic plant fertilizer. Sprinkle a 1/2 cup around the base of the tree, but do not let the fertilizer touch the trunk. Water thoroughly. Going forward, fertilize once in the spring, summer and fall.

Step 6

Pull weeds for a 2-foot radius around the base of the tree. Keep all weeds removed, because weeds can suck up nutrients and water that benefit the seedlings.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer 10-10-10
  • Peat moss or other organic humus
  • Mulch
  • Shovel


  • Alabama A&M, Auburn University: Planting Sawtooth Oaks For Wildlife
  • Fast Growing Trees: Sawtooth Oak Tree
  • Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station: Sawtooth Oak Is Beautiful And Tasty

Who Can Help

  • Arbor Day Foundation: Sawtooth Oak
Keywords: sawtooth oak tree, care of sawtooth oak tree, planting a sawtooth oak tree, growth of a sawtooth oak tree

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.