Lets talk about Sawtooth Oaks

Jordan Selsor

5 year old buck +
Would like to hear everyone's opinions and experience with sawtooths. Seems like at one time they were as big a craze as the chestnuts are today! If anyone has good pics please post especially if its of deer under them! I have read as much literature as I can find on sawtooths and here is what I have learned.
Clearly their are pros and cons to sawtooths in land management. Lets review them. Im no expert like many on this site Im just a simple forum junkie and research fanatic!


Low timber value
Branches snap under ice, snow, and wind. May bother me if I planted it in my front yard for an ornamental tree but not for a wildlife tree.
Non native invasive-ecologically what harm would sawtooths cause if they made their way into our forests. Simple answer if you don't want it hack an squirt.
Non producing sawtooths- I would think this is a risk you take with ANY tree. Many factors come into play. But to put it simple some trees flat out produce more than others whether its apples, oaks or chesnuts! The tree may not be to blame.
Trees drop to early. My goal is a yr around diverse food source. I want to fill gaps and sawtooth sounds like a perfect answer! Our late Aug early Sep in Mo can come with hot weather and much of the native browse is dried up. This is also when I am planting fall food plots. This could lesson the browse pressure on freshly planted food plots=good thing!!! Our bow season in MO opens Sep 15, my research shows many sawtooths drop around that time; now that puts a smile on my face.

Trees that grow fast dont live as long? Is this ture?
Cant think of an other negative findings associated with sawtooths. Please post a response if I missed something.

Easy to grow
Generally fast growing early producing oak
Great yr to yr consistent crops once producing
Great cover
Perfect drop time for early bow season in many states
Preferred acorn by wildlife due to less tannin (don't know for sure haven't tasted them
but that's the word on the street) This true?
Gobbler version great for turkeys
Good looking trees!

To me this oak is undoubtedly a useful tool in creating diverse wildlife habitat but defiantly not a staple end all answer "food plot tree". I currently have about 30 newly planted sawtooths and look forward to watching them grow and hope they start producing about to time my 1 an 2 yr old sons start bow hunting! I like the fact that it typically drops early very much and if Im lucky enough to get a few that hold their acorns a lil later GREAT! I imagine this could have some variation from yr to yr. If someone asked me if they should include them in their long term wildlife management strategy. My response would be absolutely but you also want to include: dunstan/Chinese chestnuts, various hybrid oaks, and some soft mast life persimmon, crab apple, apple, pear, mulberry, etc....

Just my 2cents
Looks like I am not the only one having double posting problems this afternoon. The site seems to be experiencing some technical difficulties.

I have always heard that red oaks have higher tannin levels than white oaks and that deer prefer the whites when they are on the ground. I tried 25 "gobbler variety" reds last year and for a few reaons they are all dead this spring.
Sawtooths do well in Arkansas. I have few gobbler sawtooth from nativ nursery that I planted last fall, so far they are doing well.
I planted what I thought was a few gobbler varieties as well from NN however they dont appear to be sawtooths (different leaves). I think they might have mislabeled them. Oh well mystery oak. Hopefully its one of their hybrids haha but I think they are shummard oaks
Forgot to mention I also have some regular sawtooths that I planted from NN that are doing good as well.
Forgot to mention I also have some regular sawtooths that I planted from NN that are doing good as well.
How old are your trees? Are they producing acorns yet? Would love to see some pics
I planted them last fall as well. They are probably halfway up the tree tubes at this point. One is over halfway and I think will be out the top by the end of summer.
This is from a year ago.
My son

This is from before this year's green up. I was pruning the bottom limbs.

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I have three age trees growing. Some are three years in ground and some have not been planted too long.
I have them planted orchard style on 25x25 spaceing.
Tks for pics huntall! Hopefully you will have some acorns in a yr or 2. I want to focus on stepping up my early season hunting success and I think sawtooths might be the ticket. I think early season is ones best opportunity to harvest a mature buck IMO. Many guys around here don't even hunt early season=Unpressured bucks;) This fall I plan to set up clusters of 3 or 4 sawtooths within 100-200 yards of my destination food plots. This is my first yr owning my new place but Im confident I got a few buck travel corridors pinned down. Anyone have success with this?
My sawtooth orchard is just above my future foodplot. The orchard is big!
I don't know exact size.

It actually has fruit trees on one third of it and then sawtooth mostly the rest
And on the far end I have 5 dunstans planted.
Once all producing this should supply food for an extended time period!
sawtooth.JPG Here is a 4 year old sawtooth about 10 foot tall at my house before greenup this year. It is a couple feet taller now and has put on a lot of lower limb growth. I will take pictures of it and a few others tonight. This just happened to be on my phone...
Jordan, A species to consider would be chinkapin oak as well. I have a bunch of them and the deer and turkey love them. I have a young tree that has produced acorns at the age of 5 or 6 (roughly 10' tall). I have mature trees as well. They are members of the white oak family so they can produce every year and the acorns are ready and will fall in eary october in my area. The acorns are small (like the end of your little finger). I am starting to grow acorns and spread these around my place. This last fall I picked a couple hundred and sent some to various locations for folks to try. On my plce they prefer the slopes and course and drier soils - they tend to be mixed in with my northern red oaks. They don't get as big as say a regular white oak in size, but the critters love them as they are typically the earliest ones available.
Summer Sawtooth.JPG Here is the same Sawtooth right now...
Pretty 4 yr ol tree okiekabota. Any chance for a few acorns this yr on it?
I had forgot to mention, we also have some sawtooths that came from the Arkansas Forestry that were planted around 10 years ago and have been producing heavy for a couple years. They have been dropping from mid-October until mid-November.
Pretty 4 yr ol tree okiekabota. Any chance for a few acorns this yr on it?
Maybe, last yr it had one...

I planted another 50 this year from seedlings that were 1' to 1 1/2' tall and some have already grown out of 3' tree tubes.
Sorry to drag up a 4 yr old thread but what are your drop times for folks that have them? Ive got a few scattered about. The best one grow 6 ft this year. Ive got a spot I could plant half a dozen in an orchard type setting. Deer dont really start using my place until the second week of october but if these drop sooner some may show up earlier
Ours drop throughout September and into October... just depends on the tree. They produce a lot and even though I have never hunted over them the acorns don't stay on the ground long. Very pretty trees, abundant producers, easy to grow, and after a couple of decades I have yet to find one growing out of place. I know they aren't native but where I'm at the certainly haven't been invasive.
Before initially planting I consulted with the local forester. He said because they are the only show in town they get targeted hard so he doubted they could escape.