WSU Clark County Extension

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Scientific name: Aesculus hippocastanum

Type:Deciduous tree
Plant Requirements
Zone:3 to 8
Sun:Full sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:75 ft
Width:50 ft
Bloom:Spring flowers
Bloom Time:May
Bloom Color:White
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Horsechestnuts are commonly used in public parks, golf courses, University grounds and on home-sites which have large lawns. In the Midwest it is one of the more common shade trees.

This a large deciduous tree that can eventually grow to a height of 50’-75’ with an oval-rounded crown. As the tree develops the lower limbs often droop down which can interfere with vehicular or pedestrian clearance beneath the canopy.

Horsechestnut bears light green palmate compound leaves. Individual leaves are 4” to 10” long and are arranged in groups of 7 (infrequently 5). Veins are impressed in the leaflets making them appear corrugated. Fall leaf color is generally not considered remarkable. At best leaves turn shades of yellow and brown.

In May white bloom appears. These flowers are arranged in upright panicles which are 6”-14” long. Each flower has a touch of red or yellow.

In the fall flowers give rise to fruit. A globular dehiscent capsule with sharp spines encases 1-2 seeds within. Upon ripening these seeds turn a shiny dark mahogany color with a round tan scar. Fruit can be up to an inch in diameter.

Grows well on a wide array of soils. It is also very tolerant of city conditions and does well in small, restricted root zone areas such as along streets.

On the west coast horsechestnut is pest free. It will display leaf scorch and blotch during the latter part of the summer. Powdery mildew has also been reported. The young leaves and fruit are considered poisonous.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234