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Publication #ENH-697

Quercus acuta: Japanese Evergreen Oak1

Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson2

Introduction

Japanese evergreen oak reaches 20 to 30 feet in height with a 15 to 20-foot-spread and has an oval to rounded silhouette with dense, low branching and smooth, grey bark on the often multiple trunks. The dark green, glossy leaves, 2.5 to 5 inches long, have wavy-margins and a paler underside. New growth is purplish-brown. The inconspicuous flowers are followed by brown, cupped acorns. The dense growth and small size make Japanese evergreen oak ideal for use as a specimen, screen, or small shade tree. Unfortunately, it is not available in nurseries.

Figure 1. 

Middle-aged Quercus acuta: Japanese evergreen oak


Credit:

Ed Gilman, UF/IFAS


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

General Information

Scientific name: Quercus acuta
Pronunciation: KWERK-us ack-YOO-tuh
Common name(s): Japanese evergreen oak
Family: Fagaceae
USDA hardiness zones: 9A through 11 (Fig. 2)
Origin: not native to North America
Invasive potential: little invasive potential
Uses: specimen; shade; tree lawn 4-6 feet wide; tree lawn > 6 ft wide; parking lot island 100-200 sq ft; parking lot island > 200 sq ft; street without sidewalk; highway median; tree lawn 3-4 feet wide
Availability: not native to North America

Figure 2. 

Range


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Description

Height: 20 to 30 feet
Spread: 15 to 20 feet
Crown uniformity: symmetrical
Crown shape: oval, round
Crown density: dense
Growth rate: moderate
Texture: medium

Foliage

Leaf arrangement: alternate (Fig. 3)
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: entire, undulate
Leaf shape: ovate, elliptic (oval)
Leaf venation: pinnate
Leaf type and persistence: broadleaf evergreen, evergreen
Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches, 4 to 8 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: no color change
Fall characteristic: not showy

Figure 3. 

Foliage


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Flower

Flower color: brown
Flower characteristics: not showy

Fruit

Fruit shape: elongated
Fruit length: .5 to 1 inch
Fruit covering: dry or hard
Fruit color: brown
Fruit characteristics: attracts squirrels/mammals; not showy; fruit/leaves a litter problem

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: branches droop; not showy; typically multi-trunked; thorns
Pruning requirement: needed for strong structure
Breakage: resistant
Current year twig color: brown
Current year twig thickness: thick
Wood specific gravity: unknown

Culture

Light requirement: full sun
Soil tolerances: clay; sand; loam; acidic; well-drained
Drought tolerance: moderate
Aerosol salt tolerance: unknown

Other

Roots: not a problem
Winter interest: no
Outstanding tree: no
Ozone sensitivity: unknown
Verticillium wilt susceptibility: resistant
Pest resistance: unknown

Use and Management

Japanese evergreen oak should be grown in full sun or partial shade on well-drained, fertile, acid soil.

Pests

The tree has not been extensively tested.

Diseases

The tree has not been extensively tested.

Footnotes

1.

This document is ENH-697, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Revised December 2006. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; and Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Agricultural Engineering Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.