Ohio Buckeyes are wide and round trees, getting to about 35′ by 20′ with medium growth and a preference for well drained and moist soils. Very pretty white flowers bloom in late spring developing interesting inedible spiny fruits in the summer. Leaves turn to oranges and yellows in the fall and tend to drop before other trees lose their leaves. It has interesting spiky fruits with hard nuts inside. The leaves, twigs and bark have an unpleasant smell when crushed. Every part of the tree is considered poisonous to humans and cattle, however, squirrels are known to favor the fruit.
Needs a well drained and fertile soil.
Leaf Spot, Leaf Scorch and Powdery Mildew.
None of major concern.
‘Marshall seedless’, ‘Summit’, ‘Patmore’, ‘Cimmaron’, and ‘Newport’ are the most common. Summit is very popular but caution is needed as it tends to grow multiple trunks and branches making it very weak and highly susceptible to failure in winds as it matures. It is very difficult to prune into a strong structure.
History and Use
The nuts are poisonous as they contain tannic acid. Native Americans’ extracted the acid and used it in tanning leather. Children seem to enjoy the spiky fruits as play things.