Japanese evergreen oak (Quercus acuta) is a small tree of the temperate forests of Japan, Korea, and China. Its sharply pointed (acuta) leaves drain off moisture and keep this evergreen tree healthy when humidity is high. These shiny dark-green leaves have paler undersides and stay green year round.
This oak tree has a special place in Japanese history. In the past when samurai trained warriors, practice swords (bukken) were made from its wood. Its seeds have been used in times of famine, and recently this tree has been planted to create forests on tsunami-damaged shrine grounds.
The leaf picture is from the Japanese evergreen oak in bed 123. The other pictures are from the tree near the trail going through bed 127D. Both trees were planted in 1980. The pictures were taken in June.
Here is a tour worth taking on oaks from everywhere.
Text and photos by Hughie Jones