How to Grow the Horse Chestnut Tree
A deciduous tree, the horse chestnut is a fairly easy tree to grow, though some species can be prone to leaf diseases, Japanese beetles, and scale insects. Its foliage also tends to scorch and deteriorate in dry soil.
The horse chestnut tree will lose its leaves seasonally. The fruit of the tree is a moderately poisonous seed (the horse chestnut), and can be found inside a prickly husk. The seed is a spiny fruit that’s about two inches in diameter and contains one or two blackish, nut-like seeds.
The oblong flower clusters feature a blotch of color at the base which starts yellow and ends as more of a reddish color. The tree itself grows at a medium rate, and planters can expect height increases of approximately 13 to 24 inches per year. As it matures, the tree develops an exfoliating bark, with its outer bark peeling away to reveal orange bark underneath.
This tree will thrive in both full sun and partial shade. It prefers a minimum of four hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight every day.
Tolerant to an array of soils, the horse chestnut will grow in acidic, moist, loamy, sandy, and silty loam soils–however, the soil should always be kept moist and well-drained.
These trees do not tolerate excessively dry conditions, and will grow best if the soil is kept moist. You’ll want to water thoroughly after planting, and then be sure to give the new plant a thorough soaking once a week during summer (unless rainfall is plentiful).
Temperature and Humidity
The horse chestnut tree will only bloom in early to mid-May. Young trees can be protected in winter with a commercial grade tree wrap, which is recommended at least for the first two or three years or growth.
Newly planted horse chestnut trees respond quite well to fertilizer. Granular, liquid, or stake-type fertilizers can be used. Organic fertilizers, such as manure, can also produce desirable results.