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Tree to 20 m. Branchlets greenish brown or black with small brown lenticels; occasional stellate hairs or flaky scales present. Leaves sub-evergreen, 9–13 × 2.5–5 cm, elliptic to lanceolate, upper surface shiny black-green and glabrous, lower surface dull, glabrous or with a few tufts of hair in vein axils and along the midrib, 8–12 secondary veins on each side of the midrib, each terminating in a bristle of up to 0.5 cm, margins entire or with a few shallow teeth, apex acute; petiole 1.5–4 cm long and glabrous. Infructescence 0.5–0.7 cm long with (one to) two to five cupules. Cupule turbinate to hemispherical, 1.5 × 0.5 cm; scales obtuse and appressed with golden pubescence. Acorn round to ovoid, with half of its length enclosed in the cupule, stylopodium short. Fruiting August to September (Mexico). Trelease 1924. Distribution MEXICO: Hidalgo, Puebla, Oaxaca, Tamaulipas, Veracruz. Habitat Between 1300 and 2000 m asl. USDA Hardiness Zone 7. Conservation status Not evaluated. Illustration NT751. Taxonomic note Quercus sartorii Liebm. should not be confused with Q. sartorii Botteri ex A. DC., a synonym of Q. acutifolia.
Michael Heathcoat Amory’s notes on his oak collection record that Quercus sartorii is a ‘bit delicate’, but when seen in October 2005 some of his trees of this species were growing well, the largest then approximately 5 m in height after ten years’ growth (currently 7 m tall: A. Coombes, pers. comm. 2008) – although another individual in a more exposed situation was less happy. At the Hillier Gardens, the largest specimen of Coombes 248, from Puebla, collected in 1995, is 8.7 m tall (2008) and also thriving, and there is another good tree at Wisley. In Illinois, Sternberg (1995) found it to show early promise of being winter-hardy; in such Zone 5 conditions, it is deciduous. The new foliage on late summer shoots is red.