Horse chestnut; tree that can grow over twenty-five feet tall with a broad crown.
Do not confuse with:
Sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa)
Also known as:
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- Chestnuts are eaten by wild boar, deer, pigs and cattle; to humans and dogs the chestnut is slightly poisonous.
The chestnuts of the sweet chestnut (entirely different plant: Castanea sativa) are edible, however.
Horse chestnut – (Aesculus hippocastanum), tree that can grow over twenty-five feet tall with a broad crown. The horse chestnut is a tree of the Northern Hemisphere.
The white horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) is most common; the red horse chestnut (Aesculus ×carnea) is seen less frequently. The red variety also remains a bit lower in height, but still a respectable 20 meters.
Fungi & diseases
Moist, brown spots develop on the bark of the trunk that secrete a viscous fluid: Horse chestnut bleeding canker.
The leaves wilt suddenly because the sap flow is disrupted. Eventually, the trees die: wilt (Verticillium spp).
Small, orange-red mushrooms appear on affected branches, which can be either dead or living branches: Coral spot (Nectria cinnabarina).
Between 50 and 200 cm tall fungi with several flat, semicircular caps at the base of the tree. Initially light brown; later darker in color (reddish brown): giant polypore (Meripilus giganteus).
A chestnut only flowers after about fifteen years. Under poor growing conditions, the tree flowers earlier – the so-called stress-induced flowering – and much later under very good growing conditions.