I found this tree in a forest park in Gothenburg, Sweden. It is ca 10 meters high.

enter image description here Next to a regular oak.

enter image description here The largest leaves I found. My hand is ca 17 cm long.

enter image description here Stem is much smoother than regular oak.

enter image description here Leaves are much larger than regular oak leaves from the neighbouring tree (seen on left).

enter image description here enter image description here Buds are quite small (these are from June 21).

  • It is an Oak; I am thinking Quercus acutissima but I need to go check...
    – stormy
    Jun 18, 2018 at 22:58
  • Could you look to find an acorn or two? If there are any?
    – stormy
    Jun 19, 2018 at 20:54

4 Answers 4


I would say north red oak, Quercus rubra. The tell is the serrations on the leaves; Q. rubra is in the black oak subgroup which has bristle tips at the ends of the lobes (as opposed to the rounded lobes of the regular oak, which from the photos looks like Q. ruber) and has no serrations, their margins are entire. Q. rubra has shallow sinuses and gets as large as you have shown when growing lower in the canopy in the shade, consistent with where you found them.

The buds of Q. rubra will be clustered at the tip, as is show in the photo, and because it was taken early enough in the season for Sweden, the buds were still developing, so they aren't quite as large as they would otherwise be. It's not a pin oak (Q. palustris) as some folks postured as pin oaks have much deeper sinuses and much denser canopies, even lower down.

Take a close look at the leaves from the link that is posted for the whitebeam. You'll see that the sinus on the whitebeam are very tight, the lobes almost overlap, and they have very pronounced serrations. The leaf in question has neither of those, so it can't be the whitebeam, even accounting for slight variation in the hybrid. As it's a commonly planted tree, especially in parks, and they can be planted by squirrels.

Quercus acutissima, the sawtooth oak, has much more lanceolate leaves with serrated margins instead of lobes. Their serrations are at the end of each view and they have many more that the leaf in the photo.

I hope this adds to the discussion!

  • It seems that most other answerers find the buds very sorbuslike. But I am not able to check for acorns right now, but will later in August.
    – trmdttr
    Jul 29, 2018 at 16:42

That one is a bit of a pickle. It could be a number of things.

However, I am leaning towards a Swedish whitebeam, Sorbus x intermedia which is a triple hybrid.

Swedish whitebeam

It has Sorbus domestics growing habit Sorbus domestica

Sorbus acuparia bark

Sorbus acuparia

Sorbus aria leaves

Sorbus aria leaves

The thing is that even if the main traits of the hybrid are theoretically obvious, nature doesn’t stick to the rules and the DNA percentages of all 3 trees do vary. But the original is definitely Swedish white beam

  • The leaves have rounded lobes versus the concave scoops of a Pin Oak for instance.
    – stormy
    Jun 18, 2018 at 23:28
  • The leaves look much smoother than the whitebeam, it seems to me. I have added new images, if you'd like to have a look. Thanks!
    – trmdttr
    Jun 19, 2018 at 16:19
  • The bark is better for whitebeam but you are right the leaves should be grayish below and more...hairy? Tomentose. still working...
    – stormy
    Jun 19, 2018 at 21:01
  • Swedish whitebeams are tripled hybrids and also capable to have many variations due to The crossing of 3 species. I can find out which 3 were initially used.
    – user33232
    Jun 19, 2018 at 21:36
  • @trmdttr this bark is infuriating! There is the fact that young oaks have smoother bark. This does not look young. This must be a definitive bark! The leaves are definitive! If you are unable to find acorns in that debris, I, 'choke', am still at a loss. Bamboo where are you? She is the best ID'er I think. She's got some magic book I don't have!! grins. Can't believe she's not already put me in my place...major grins. Hey, I am OCD, just wish I had my 3" book to use instead of this internet. Whine even whinier?
    – stormy
    Jun 19, 2018 at 22:02

This oak could also be Quercus palustris or Pin Oak. The leaves in the picture are leaves in shade and not indicative of the species for ID. Quercus acutissima is a possibility. Please send a picture of a newer leaf in the sun? This could also be a 'live Oak'...Quercus agrifolia scroll down a bit to see leaves like yours. What is the scale in your picture? What is the size of these leaves? live oak In your picture they look at least 4 to 6" long, more in line with Pin Oak.

UPDATE; This is not an oak, very sure it is Sorbus or Ash by the buds and bark. User 33232 was closest!

  • I'll try and fetch better pictures and size estimates soon.
    – trmdttr
    Jun 19, 2018 at 9:38
  • Have added new images. :-)
    – trmdttr
    Jun 19, 2018 at 16:18
  • This should be easier than it seems!! Whine. If you are unable to find acorns then...a picture of the buds along the stem would be an even bigger help.
    – stormy
    Jun 19, 2018 at 21:06

I think it is an Oak (Northern Red Oak), Quercus rubra. The only problem I have is that the tree is native to North America, and you find it in Sweden... If you say it is in a park, maybe it is planted and not native to Scandinavia?

The leaves look very similar as the third image here. The trunks shows similarity to a young red oak tree.

  • Those leaves look very similar!
    – trmdttr
    Jun 22, 2018 at 19:50
  • There is no similarity of trunks at all. What in the world you find similar between this tree's trunk and 'the young oak trunk'? Jul 29, 2018 at 7:46

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