Common Name: horse chestnut

Scientific Name: 
Genus: Aesculus 
Species: A. hippocastanum

Hardiness Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 50 to 75 ft 
Width: 40 to 65 ft


Common Characteristics:

The horse chestnut is a medium-sized tree that can reach heights of 40 to 60' tall and 40 to 60' wide. It has an upright single trunk that branches low to create a spreading round oval crown. The bark is gray to dark brown and with age becomes platy with many furrows. Horse chestnut has large terminal buds that are reddish-brown in color and resinous. The dark green palmately compound leaves typically have 7 leaflets, though occasionally only 5. Leaves are oppositely attached to the stem and are 5-10" in length. Showy white flowers in upright panicles appear in mid-spring. It produces fruit in the form of a green, leathery, spiky capsule containing 1-3 smooth inedible nuts.

Where it Grows:

Grows best in moist, well-drained soils. Can tolerate alkaline and clay soils. It will tolerate some road salts. Best in full sun to partial shade. Does well in the urban landscape. 

How it’s Used:

Horse chestnut is suited for use as an urban shade tree, particularly in parks or gardens. 

Ecosystem Services:

This tree is used by browse animals, migrant birds, and songbirds.  

Where it is Native to:

The horse chestnut is native to the Balkans but is well suited for growing in Minnesota.  

Known Varieties and Their Traits:

Baumann's horse-chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum 'Baumannii'):  A double-flowered cultivar that produces no nuts.


This tree is prone to leaf scorch and a fungal leaf blotch


Missouri Botanical Garden

The Morton Arboretum

Horse chestnut foliag
Horse chestnut bud
Horse chestnut fruit