Aesculus hippocastanum – Common Horse Chestnut
Habit: Majestic, 20-25 m tall tree, 12-15 m wide; domed, very shady, dense crown, main branches vertically extended upwards, lower twigs clearly overhanging, reaching far down; medium to strong-growing, 25-50 cm a year.
Flowers: Large, white panicles, with yellow-red spots, beginning to middle of May; flowering roughly from the 10th year on.
Fruits: Numerous prickly capsules with brown chestnuts, from September, lasting for a long time.
Leaves: Palmate; medium-green; strong yellow or brownish yellow in autumn, October.
Roots: Shallow and far-reaching, lifting pavements and curbs; sensitive to digging and soil compaction.
Demands: Sun, likes warmth, frost hardy, avoids low humidity.
Soil: Fresh to moist, slightly acidic to alkaline; deep, somewhat heavy soil; fails on poor sand; avoids dry soil, very sensitive to salt.
Note: The branches are not very elastic when old and may break. Unprofessional cutting leads the cutwood to weather quickly and the stem is hollowed out.
Hardiness: Zone 4