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HorsechestnutAesculus hippocastanum

  • Northern Red Oak - Quercus rubra
  • Hosechestnut Tree

The horsechestnut is an attention-grabbing specimen in the spring. It is one of the first trees to leaf out as the temperatures warm up, and beautiful clusters of white flowers cover the oval to rounded crown in early to mid-May. But the horsechestnut is more than an ornamental. It also provides great shade in the summer.

Hardiness Zones

The horsechestnut can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 4–7. View Map

Tree Type

This tree is considered both a shade tree and an ornamental tree. It features a spreading canopy capable of blocking sunlight and adds visual interest and beauty to landscaping.

Mature Size

The horsechestnut grows to a height of 50–75' and a spread of 40–70' at maturity.

Growth Speed Medium Growth Rate

This tree grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of 4 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The horsechestnut grows in acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam, well-drained and clay soils.


This tree:
  • Produces beautiful, 5–12" oblong clusters of white flowers with a blotch of color their base that starts yellow and ends reddish.
  • Blooms in early to mid-May.
  • Features palmately compound leaves with 5-7 obovate leaflets that are 4–10" long and doubly serrated on the margins.
  • Develops exfoliating bark as it gets older, with outer bark peeling away to reveal orange bark underneath.
  • Yields a light brown, spiny fruit 2–2¼" in diameter that contains 1 (sometimes 2) blackish, nut-like seed.
  • Grows in an oval to rounded shape.
  • Is one of the earliest trees to leaf out.

Wildlife Value

The seeds are a food source for squirrels and deer.


The horsechestnut is native to the mountainous, uninhabited wilds of Greece and Albania. Large groves can also be found in Bulgaria. It was introduced in 1576.