Ohio Buckeye

Aesculus glabra

Leaves: Deciduous.  Leaves are composed of 5 leaflets, sometimes 7, that spread from the petiole or leaf stem like fingers. Leaflets are 3-6" long, broadest in the middle of the leaflet, and narrowing to a long point at the end. Medium to dark green color. Fall color is yellow or a red-orange. Leaves do not stay on the tree long after turning color.

Bark/Twigs:  Ash gray bark with thick, deep fissures.

Flowers/Fruit: Yellow-green flowers grow in upright, conical clusters 4-7" tall by 2-3” wide. Leaves emerge before flowers are in bloom during late spring (May). Light brown capsules are 1-2” diameter and oval with a prickly cover and usually one seed. Seeds (buckeyes) are smooth, red-brown with a circular white patch and are poisonous.

Mature size and shape: Large. 40'h x 30'w. Oval to pyramidal with a rounded top. Branches grow down towards the ground and then arch back up at the ends.

General information/special features: Plant in full sun to partial shade. Moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil preferred. Does not tolerate drought well. Plant parts are toxic and should not be consumed. Buckeyes are often carried by people as tokens of good luck.

Landscape use and Maintenance: Good shade tree, best used in parks or natural settings with large open areas. Not ideal for urban use or as a street tree. Medium growing rate. High maintenance with seeds and flowers. Prune in early spring.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-7

Family/Origin: Hippocastanaceae – Buckeye. Native from the Appalachians of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and N. Carolina to Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and southeastern Nebraska.

Campus use: Extremely uncommon. Only specimen. Can be found on south side of President’s Circle or southeast of the Alumni House (Bld 52).

Yellow Horsechestnut (Sweet Buckeye)

Aesculus octandra

Leaves: Deciduous. 5 leaflets spread out like fingers from a palm of a hand, making the leaf compound palmate. Leaflets are 4-6” long, oblong or narrow elliptic in shape. Finely serrated leaf edge. Dark green color above, yellow green beneath. May turn a pumpkin color in fall.

Bark/Twigs: Bark is a combination of gray and brown with large, flat, smooth plates and scales on older trunks.

Flowers/Fruit: Flowers are yellow with a tinge of green and are borne in erect clusters or panicles, 6-7” long by 2-3” wide, in May. Fruit is a smooth, 2-3” long capsule, usually containing two brown seeds.

Mature size and shape: Large. 50’h. Upright oval to slightly spreading crown shape. Larger than A. glabra.

General information/special features: Plant in full sun. Prefers deep, moist, well-drained soil. Very tolerant of dry, alkaline soils.

Landscape use and Maintenance: Large shade tree with dense summer foliage. Average growing rate. Average maintenance.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-8

Family/Origin: Hippocastanaceae – Buckeye. Pennsylvania to Tennessee, northern Alabama, and northern Georgia, west to Ohio and Illinois. Also known as Aesculus flava.

Campus use: Rare. Only specimen. Can be found on south side in President’s Circle.

Red Horsechestnut

Aesculus x carnea

Leaves: Deciduous. Leaves are divided in 5 leaflets, sometimes 7, spreading out like the shape of a hand from one petiole (leaf stem). Leaf edges have serrations on serrations and have an undulating or wavy edge. Leaflets are widest towards their points and 3-6” long. Dark green and lustrous color. Fall color is insignificant, sometimes yellow-brownish.

Bark/Twigs: Bark is dark gray and smooth when young. Gray-brown and very scaly with long plates when older.

Flowers/Fruit: Very showy red to dark pink flowers grow in 6-8” tall and 3-4” wide panicles. Flowers sometimes have a little yellow inside. Blooms in late spring (May). Large, 1½” diameter, brown, shiny, inedible nuts grow in fruit capsules with a somewhat prickly husk.

Mature size and shape:  Medium large. 30-40’h by approximately the same width. May stay smaller in Utah. Rounded shape.

General information/special features: Plant in full sun to partial shade. Moist soil is preferred. Dislikes overly dry soil.

Landscape use and Maintenance: Beautiful ornamental shade tree. Fits well in residential yards. Average growing rate. Average to high maintenance with flowers.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-8

Family/Origin: Hippocastanaceae – Buckeye. A cross between A. hippocastanum and A. pavia, probably from Germany.

Campus use: Somewhat common. Can be found in President's Circle and north of HPER North (Bld 92). The tree on the south of President’s Circle is on the Utah Big Tree Registry.

European Horsechestnut

Aesculus hippocastanum

Leaves: Deciduous. Leaves are composed of 7-9 large leaflets, sometimes 5, spread out like the shape of a hand. Leaflets have jagged, double-toothed edges and are wider towards the point than the base, 5-7” long by 2-3” wide. Leaves are a deep, dark green. Fall color is usually a dull yellow to yellow-brown, not generally phenomenal.

Bark/Twigs: Dark gray to brown color. Bark becomes shallowly fissured into irregular plate-like scales and peeling on older stems. Large sticky buds.

Flowers/Fruit: Very showy flowers grow in long clusters 5-10" long and 2-4” wide. Individual flowers are a white to cream color with yellow or pink spots inside and about 1-1½” long. Blooms late spring (May). Fruit capsule is a 2” diameter prickly husk with 1-2 shiny brown seeds, that split open and drop in the fall (September-October).

Mature size and shape: Large. 50'h x 35'w. Oval to round shape.

General information/special features: Plant in full sun to partial shade. Moist, well-drained, acidic soil is preferred. Not very drought tolerant.

Landscape use and Maintenance: Large, good shade tree with dense summer foliage and spectacular spring flowers. Nice specimen tree for parks and other large spaces. Not recommended for small residential properties. Average growing rate. High maintenance with seeds and flowers. Prune early spring.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8

Family/Origin: Hippocastanaceae – Buckeye. Native of Asia.

Campus use: Somewhat common. Can be found south of the George Thomas Building (Bld 5).