The Yellow Buckeye grows in acidic, drought tolerant, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well drained, wet, clay soils.
The Yellow buckeye is a common part of the rich mix of species found from the mountains of West Virginia south into northern Georgia. It is a bottomland species in the northern part of its natural range, but farther south it climbs higher on the slopes. In parks and yards it is a beautiful and dense shade tree, suitable as a pleasing focal point or a visual screen. The word "buckeye" comes from the whitish scar on the brown seeds, giving the appearance of a deer's eye.
With its oval, slightly spreading canopy, the Yellow Buckeye makes a fine tall screen or shade tree. Grows best in full sun. Yellow flowers in May, dark green summer leaves turning brilliant pumpkin in fall. Grows to 60' to 75', 30' spread. (zones 4-8)
Yellow buckeyes grow in mature hardwood forests, and provide shelter and nesting sites for the animals dwelling in those forests.
As well as the belief in the good fortune of its storied seed, the buckeye has been held to cure rheumatism and other, more minor ailments. Pioneering farm families also made soap from the kernels of buckeye seeds, and many a child's cradle was carved from the wood of this tree. Before the advent of synthetic materials, the wood was used to make artificial limbs because of its light weight and resistance to splitting. A superb variety of one of its cousins, the Sweet Buckeye, was discovered by George Washington in 1784 on a visit to Colonel Morgan in West Virginia. He planted four of them that still exist at Mount Vernon.
This tree has normal moisture requirements, with some flooding and drought tolerance.
This tree usually has five, nearly elliptical leaflets arranged like fingers on a long petiole. Each leaflet is about 4 to 6 inches long and 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 inches wide. Dark green in summer, yellow to pumpkin-orange in autumn.
Numerous yellow blossoms are held erect in clusters (panicles), 5 to 7 inches long, that appear like decorative torch lights in late spring.
Early to mid-May..
This tree's fruit is about 2 to 3 inches in diameter with two smooth buckeyes contained in a thick, spherical or pear-shaped husk. The husk, or shell, is smooth, as opposed to the thornier shell of the Ohio Buckeye.