University of Missouri Extension

G6800, Revised June 2008

Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees

Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)

Large trees

Horse chestnut
Horse chestnut

The horse chestnut is a magnificent tree in the spring when its foot-long panicles of showy flowers cover the tree like candles on a Christmas tree. It is definitely not a tree for the small yard. Its course texture and large size make it look out of place except in a very large area. The horse chestnut has earned a bad reputation in many areas. Its branches are relatively weak and subject to storm damage. The large nuts are produced profusely. They have no economic or ornamental value and are a nuisance wherever they fall.

The Baumann horse chestnut, a double-flowered variety, should be planted in preference to the standard varieties because it does not produce seed. There is also a red-flowered form available that is more showy than the standard white-flowered types.

G6800 Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees | University of Missouri Extension

Order publications online at or call toll-free 800-292-0969.

University of Missouri Extension - print indicia