Quercus dentata is a deciduous tree growing up to 20–25m tall, with a trunk up to 1m diameter. Its foliage is remarkable for its size, among the largest of all oaks. The form is reminiscent of an enormous pedunculate oak leaf.
The leaves are often retained dead on the tree into winter. Both sides of the leaf are initially downy with the upper surface becoming smooth.
The flowers are produced in May; the male flowers are pendulous catkins. The female flowers are sessile, growing near the tips of new shoots, producing acorns in broad, bushy-scaled cups. The acorns mature in September to October.
Quercus dentata was introduced to the British Isles in 1830, where it is occasionally grown in botanical gardens. It is usually smaller in cultivation than in the wild, growing to a small angular tree or large irregular shrub.