Red Horse Chestnut

Aesculus carnea

The row of Red Horse Chestnuts along the riverside is one of the most familiar sites in the Park. They are to be removed in the restoration and this is probably no great loss. The tree itself is a hybrid of the familiar Common Horse chestnut and the American Red Buckeye. The former is the rootstock below the grafts.

Where it first originated is not known but it first came onto the market in 1820.By and large it is a dull tree other than its flowers in the spring. It has little or no autumn colour, is short lived and prone to large, ugly cankerous growths. Curiously these are not caused by fungi but are just large abnormal growths. After a time they start to disintegrate and become powdery.

The tree is well distributed in our Park and many others, but is generally regarded as a poor choice.