Horse Chestnut – Aesculus Hippocastanum


The Horse Chestnut tree, Aesculus hippocastanum, is a familiar sight across England and the UK, easily recognised by its bright green, palmate leaves and the spiky seed pods that house the distinctive conkers in the autumn.


The Horse Chestnut tree, Aesculus hippocastanum, is a familiar sight across England and the UK, easily recognised by its bright green, palmate leaves and the spiky seed pods that house the distinctive conkers in the autumn.

Originally native to a small area in Southeastern Europe, Horse Chestnut trees were introduced to the UK in the late 16th century. They have a moderate growth rate and can reach impressive heights of 20-30 metres. These trees can live up to 200-300 years, making them a longstanding feature in any landscape where they are planted.

The Horse Chestnut tree is most admired for its vibrant display in spring, when it blossoms with clusters of white or pink flowers with yellow or red spots. This stunning display of flowers not only adds beauty to the landscape but also provides a source of nectar for bees, making it an excellent tree for promoting pollinators.

Unlike the Sweet Chestnut, the nuts, known as conkers, from the Horse Chestnut are not edible for humans due to their aescin content, but they have a different value: cultural significance. The tradition of conker-playing in the autumn has been a beloved pastime for British children for generations.

As for their benefit to wildlife, while the conkers aren’t a food source for most native wildlife due to their bitterness, the tree’s flowers attract bees and other pollinators, and the leaves are used by the caterpillars of certain moths. Birds, like the redwing and fieldfare, also use the trees for shelter and nesting sites.

From a garden design perspective, Horse Chestnut trees are perfect for larger landscapes due to their size and spread. They offer generous shade and have a majestic presence with their large, spreading canopy. Their striking spring blossoms and autumn conkers also add year-round interest.

In terms of where these trees are found in the UK, Horse Chestnut trees have been widely planted throughout the country in parks, streets, and gardens. They are not considered ‘native’ to the UK, but they are naturalised and widespread, being found from the south of England up to Scotland.

In conclusion, the Horse Chestnut tree, while not native, has become an integral part of the British landscape and culture. Its majestic size, vibrant spring blossoms, and iconic conkers all contribute to its appeal, making it an excellent addition to large gardens and parks. Its ecological value, particularly for pollinators, also underscores its importance in the landscape.

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Box/Parcel – Used for plants sized 0-70cm, costs £12. Order £100 worth of plants of that size to qualify for free delivery! Parcel deliveries are always sent for next day delivery unless otherwise specified.

Pallet – Used for plants sized 71-230cm, costs £60. Order £350 worth of plants to qualify for free pallet delivery! We always send our pallets for next day delivery, unless requested otherwise.

Private Van – Used for plants sized 231cm and taller, costs £60. Order £350 worth to get free private van delivery!

In all cases you can request a private van delivery, where your plants are delivered by us. Upon your request we can re-evaluate your delivery fee and let you know of the delivery time.

Please note, for pallet and box deliveries we use third party companies to deliver the goods. Not often, but occasionally some delays may happen due to unforeseen circumstances, which are out of our control. For this reason, we ask you to never book gardeners, contractors, or other industry professionals for the estimated delivery date. Please do not book days off work or cancel other commitments specifically for your plant delivery to avoid disappointment.

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If you are not home at the time of your delivery, don’t worry! With your permission, we will instruct our trusted couriers to leave your plants in a safe place. If you have any requirements, or a preferred safe place for your plant delivery, please ensure to leave us a note along with your order, or simply give us a call.

Specialized Delivery

If you have any special requirements regarding your delivery, please add it to your order notes or call us on 01603 327269. Always include any delivery restrictions into your order note so appropriate vehicles and good carriers can be used to deliver your plants.

Please note that we currently are unable to deliver to Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland due to Brexit rules and regulations.

For more delivery information refer to our terms and conditions here.


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