Common Name: Horse chesnut
Origin/Ecology: Native to the Balkans
Habit: Medium to large deciduous tree that grows 50-75′ tall with an upright oval-rounded crown.
Leaves: Light green palmately compound leaves emerge in spring, each with 7 (sometimes 5) spreading ovate-oblong leaflets to 4-10″ long. Leaves mature to dark green in summer. Fall colour usually undistinguished shades of yellow and brown.
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite, subopposite
Flowers and Fruit: Showy white flowers with red or yellow markings appear in upright terminal panicles in mid-spring. Fruit is a globular dehiscent capsule consisting of 1-2 horsechesnuts encased by a leathery light brown husk covered with sharp spines. When ripe, each horsechesnut turns a handsome shiny dark mahogany brown with a round light tan scar.
Bark: Not noteworthy
Water Use, Soil: Grown in average, medium, well-drained soils. Prefers moist, fertile soils. Foliage tends to scorch and generally depreciate in dry conditions. This is a taprooted tree that once established is very difficult to transplant.
Exposure: Full sun to part shade.
Landscape Uses: Landscape tree for parks and large lawns. Also widely planted as a street and shade tree.
Limitations: Leaf blotch, powdery mildew and anthracnose are frequent problems. Bagworms, Japanese beetles and borers are less common. Leaf scorch occurs in droughty conditions or on sites exposed to wind.
Other Features: Nuts are poisonous.