Aesculus hippocastanum is also known as the Horse chestnut tree.
It is a stately flowering tree that produces delicate white flowers in the spring and spiny green seedpods in the summer.
Aesculus hippocastanum tree in bloom, photograph by Svetlana Lisova; CC.
Its nuts are beloved by kids who tie the 'conkers' to string and use them for 'conker fights'. For any chance in a fight the conkers must first be hardened. This can be done by keeping in a dark place for about a year. Many escalate the hardening process by soaking in vinegar and baking in an oven.
Horse Chestnut, also known as Conkers, photograph by Andreas Rockstein; CC.
Horse chestnut trees are usually planted in the front yard as an eye-catching centrepiece, or in the backyard as a source of shade for those working in the garden all day and to create areas for shade-loving plants.
The tree does drop seed pods in the autumn, so those who don't want to go through the trouble of picking them up might prefer a different tree.
Unlike regular chestnuts, the fruit of the horse chestnut tree is inedible to humans. The pollen from this tree may cause allergic reactions.
Common Horse Chestnut Leaves, photograph by Andreas Rockstein; CC.
Like most trees, Aesculus hippocastanum needs plenty of room to grow. Choose an empty area in your garden so the tree has plenty of space to spread out its roots.
The horse chestnut tree should be place in an area of direct sunlight where it can get at least six hours of sunlight daily.
Horse chestnut trees do well in moist areas, so this tree is ideal for people who live in areas that get a reasonable amount of rainfall.
To plant a horse chestnut tree, first dig a hole that's three times the size of the tree itself. Place the sapling in the ground, and then add soil to keep it steady. Fill the rest of the hole with water. Once the water has absorbed, add some compost and the rest of the soil.
Aesculus hippocastanum tree in the autumn showing Fall colour, Image by Andreas Rockstein; CC.
Aesculus hippocastanum photograph by Nacho.
I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Aesculus hippocastanum. You may also enjoy the following tree growing guides: