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HorsechestnutAesculus hippocastanum

  • Northern Red Oak - Quercus rubra
  • Hosechestnut Tree
Beautiful, 5"-12" oblong clusters of white flowers with a yellow and red tint at their base characterize this large flowering tree perfect for large areas. Leaves are light green as they unfold, emerging dark green at maturity. Upright-oval rounded form with lower branches hanging down. Bark exfoliates on older specimens exposing orange bark underneath. Plant in moist, well-drained soil. Tolerates many soil types. Full sun or partial shade. Grows 50'-75' high, with a 40'-70' spread.

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 four 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.

Attributes

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.

History/Lore

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.