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Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse chestnut)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
15m
Max height
12m
Max spread
20-50 years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Aesculus hippocastanum

Other names

Horse chestnut

Genus

Aesculus Aesculus

Species

A. hippocastanum - A. hippocastanum is a vigorous, spreading rounded, deciduous tree with palmately-lobed mid green leaves that turn yellow, red or orange in autumn. It bears large white flowers in summer followed by spiny brown chestnuts.


Aesculus hippocastanum is: Deciduous

Tree shape

Broad crowned

Toxicity

Ingestion may cause severe discomfort.

Flower

Yellow, White in Spring

Foliage

Dark-green in Summer; Reddish-brown in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Horse chestnut scale , Leaf mining moths Horse chestnut scale , Leaf mining moths

Coral spot , Canker , Leaf spot Coral spot , Canker , Leaf spot

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1.

Propagation methods

Grafting, Seed


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Where to grow

Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse chestnut) will reach a height of 15m and a spread of 12m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Low Maintenance, Wildlife, Architectural, Specimen tree

Cultivation

Grow in well-drained soil. Large tree only really suitable for very large gardens.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

Botanical name

Aesculus hippocastanum

Other names

Horse chestnut

Genus

Aesculus Aesculus

Species

A. hippocastanum - A. hippocastanum is a vigorous, spreading rounded, deciduous tree with palmately-lobed mid green leaves that turn yellow, red or orange in autumn. It bears large white flowers in summer followed by spiny brown chestnuts.

Foliage

Deciduous

Tree shape

Broad crowned

Toxicity

Ingestion may cause severe discomfort.


Colour

Flower

Yellow, White in Spring

Foliage

Dark-green in Summer; Reddish-brown in Autumn


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Horse chestnut scale , Leaf mining moths

Specific diseases

Coral spot , Canker , Leaf spot

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1.

Propagation methods

Grafting, Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse chestnut) will reach a height of 15m and a spread of 12m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Low Maintenance, Wildlife, Architectural, Specimen tree

Cultivation

Grow in well-drained soil. Large tree only really suitable for very large gardens.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse chestnut)

Common pest name

Alfalfa dwarf; Anaheim disease; California vine disease; Dwarf disease of alfalfa; Dwarf disease of lucerne; Leaf scald of oleander; Leaf scald of plum; Leaf scorch; Phony disease of peach; Pierce's disease of grapevine; Variegated chlorosis of citrus

Scientific pest name

Xylella fastidiosa subsp. multiplex

Type

Bacterium

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

A bacterial disease with a wide host range detected in Corsica. Although EU regulated; there remains some concern about the risk of introduction. This subspecies is known to be able to thrive in cooler climates. Should an outbreak occur; there would be a need for eradication action which would result in environmental and social impacts.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse chestnut)

Common pest name

Asian longhorn beetle; Starry sky beetle

Scientific pest name

Anoplophora glabripennis

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Recognised threat to a wide range of deciduous tress native to the UK. Already regulated it is a priority for continued surveillance and statutory action. The risk of entry is further mitigated by EU legislation requiring the monitoring of wooden packaging material originating from China.

Defra's Risk register #3

Plant name

Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse chestnut)

Common pest name

Elm spanworm; Ennomid; white; Linden moth; snow-white

Scientific pest name

Ennomos subsignaria

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Polyphagous moth pest which defoliates deciduous trees and; with repeated infestation; can cause tree death. Present in North America and current import requirements do not fully mitigate the risk of introduction. A PRA will help to assess the level of risk more fully.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

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Aesculus hippocastanum

Native to Greece, the horse chestnut was introduced to Britain around 1600. The Turks were said to feed the nuts (conkers) to coughing horses. The name may also come from the horseshoe-shaped scars… read more

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