How to Identify Sawtooth Oak Tree Leaves
The sawtooth oak (Quercus acutissima) is a non-native species of oak that now grows in many portions of the United States. Sawtooth oak was brought to North America from Asia because the species produces abundant acorns at an early age, providing food for many types of wildlife, according to the Virginia Department of Forestry. The sawtooth oak can be mistaken for a chestnut tree, due to the similar aspects of their leaves.
Measure the leaves of a sawtooth oak, look for leaves that are 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide and 3 to 7 inches long, advises the Virginia Department of Forestry.
Examine the shape of sawtooth oak leaves, keep in mind that the foliage is elongated, lance-shaped and has a rounded base where the stem attaches to the leaf.
Feel the edges of a sawtooth oak leaf. Once you have, you will quickly know why the tree has that name. The serrated margins have bristles on their tips, like the teeth on a saw. The texture of the sawtooth leaf when it first develops in the spring is fuzzy, but the surface becomes smooth after just a few weeks.
Study the color of a sawtooth oak leaf. The leaves will be a glossy shade of green. The autumn color of sawtooth oak trees is tan. The leaves change color later in the season than other trees.
Inspect a sawtooth oak in the dead of winter and you will find that many of its leaves are still on the branches. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, in the late fall, the leaves on the ends of the twigs fall off, but those on the inner parts of the tree often remain. Birds and small mammals seek shelter from the winds and snows of winter in its limbs.
Grow A Sawtooth Oak
Pull up any weeds growing from the ground within 2 to 4 feet of the tree's trunk. Clear this same area of debris, such as rocks and twigs. The mulch will minimize weed growth and reduce moisture loss from the soil. Water the sawtooth oak once per week when rainfall is absent or when temperatures reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. Fertilize the sawtooth oak in the spring, just after it breaks out of dormancy and unfurls its leaves. Apply a 10-10-10 slow-release fertilizer at a rate of 1 tablespoon per square foot of soil underneath the tree's canopy. Spread the fertilizer in a band around the tree, 2 feet from the trunk. Water the area thoroughly. Remove damaged, broken or diseased branches, branches that cross or rub against another branch, or low-hanging branches that impede passing foot-traffic. Use pruning shears to cut through branches with diameters less than 3/4 inch, loppers for diameters of 3/4 to 2 inches and a pruning saw for diameters greater than 2 inches. Spray sawtooth oak leaves infested with aphids or spider mites with an insecticidal soap or neem oil.
- Ohio Department of Natural Resources: Sawtooth Oak
- "National Audubon Society Field Guide to Trees;" Elbert L. Little; 2008
- Arbor Day Foundation: Oak, Sawtooth Quercus Acutissima
- Trees of the California Landscape; Charles Hatch
- Taylor's Guide to Trees: The Definitive, Easy-to-use Guide to 200 of the Garden's Most Important Plants; Susan A. Roth
- Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Culture, and Use; Ferrell M. Bridwell