Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sawtooth Oak

This sawtooth oak, Quercus acutissima is growing in one of my favorite parts of the park -- the area behind the Met by the magnolias I've discussed in the past. There's almost always such a nice mix of activity here; people strolling from the Met or picnicking on the lawn near the Alexander Hamilton statue, runners making their way along the loop or dads walking their son or daughter home from a little league game on the nearby ballfields.

And I do love this oak, subtly standing sentry on all this activity. Which is why I was so dismayed to learn that has listed it as a problem plant. Apparently, it has begun to spread from ornamental plantings into forests along the east coast. That fact will keep me from planting this tree in the future, but it won't stop me from blogging a little bit more about it.

Sawtooth oak, as you can see from the photo above, is an apt name for a tree with such leaves. Small, hairlike spines along the leaf margin look much like the blade of a saw. Their glossy, strappy shape create a unique canopy, too.

Below, immature acorns have started to form. They will not fall for another 18 months or so.

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