Common Name: horse chestnut
Species: A. hippocastanum
Hardiness Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 50 to 75 ft
Width: 40 to 65 ft
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.
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.