Horse Chestnut

All About the Horse Chestnut:

Scientific Nomenclature: Aesculus var.

Common Names: horse chestnut, European horsechestnut, conker tree, buckeye

Mature Height: 20–75 feet (depending on variety)

Mature Spread: 20–70 feet (depending on variety)

Growth Rate: Moderate

Attracts Wildlife: Butterflies and birds

Messiness: Leaves turn yellow and drop in autumn. Prickly, leathery capsules containing seeds mature and fall in autumn as well. The large showy flowers mature in spring and drop soon after. The flowers, bark and stems all have an unpleasant odor when crushed. 

          All parts of these trees are toxic to humans, use extreme caution.

Shape: Oval/Round

Native to Kentucky: No

Preferred Soils: Horse chestnuts prefer rich, acidic (<6.0pH), well-drained but moist loamy soils. They can also survive in sandy, silty loam soils or clay. 

Screening: Not typically planted for use as a screening or privacy tree.

Drought Tolerance: Is not tolerant of drought or severe heat.

Coniferous or Deciduous: Deciduous

Pruning: Can sometimes require pruning as it can be ungraceful in form. Other than that, it rarely needs pruning other than to remove deadwood or damaged branches from the tree to keep it healthy.

Climate Quick Facts:

Following being planted as a sapling, over 20 years one horse chestnut will:

  • Sequester ~3,399 pounds of CO2.
  • Reduce stormwater runoff by 415 gallons.