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Horse Chestnut

Aesculus hippocastanum

From £7.95

The Horse Chestnut tree is the source of the famous conker game which we all remember as children. Horse chestnut conkers are actually the nut of the tree, which is used to house the tree's seed for spreading the species. Conkers are actually poisonous to most animals except deer and so the tree can only spread as far as the conkers fall. Everything about the Horse Chestnut is big, so give the chestnut tree plenty of space in your garden so it has acess to enough light and does not shade out other plants too much. The distinct, lobed leaves of the horse chestnut tree are shaped to allow some light to stream through to leaves below, allowing all leaves of the horse chestnut tree to get some light and produce energy. However, there is very little light which penetrates all these horse chestnut leaves onto the ground, except in winter when the tree is leafless, so little will grow underneath. Perhaps a horse chestnut tree with primrose underneath would be a good idea as the primrose will come into flower before the horse chestnut comes into leaf. Horse chestnut trees will grow on most grounds and, apart from being an incredibly grand tree, also sports lovely candles of white flowers in the spring, dominantly announcing the horse chestnut's arrival after its winter slumber. Caring for Horse Chestnut Trees Your Horse Chestnut will arrive with the plug wrapped to prevent water loss. Your Horse Chestnut needs strong roots like a house needs strong foundations - that is why the trees you buy from us are grown under specialised conditions to ensure a healthy, robust root system. Unlike most produce sold in garden centres, your Horse Chestnut tree is grown in Britain and so the size of the Horse Chestnut you receive depends on weather conditions, but will on average be 30cm. The relatively small size of the Horse Chestnut tree ensures a fantastic root:shoot ratio, which will give it the best start to life in your garden. As long as the plug is kept moist and the tree is not starved of light, your stunning Horse Chestnut tree will keep for a few weeks before planting.

Conkers were played in Serbia in the 16th century and when first introduced to Britain, the conkers were made from hazel nuts and it is not until 1848 that the first game of conkers was recorded as using horse chestnut nuts on the Isle of White. Like Monkey Puzzle and Sycamore, the Horse Chestnut tree will be one which evokes many memories of childhood as we all looked out for this magnificent tree! If anyone has a fond memory of playing conkers as a child, then write in and we can publish it here. Who had the longest lasting conker? Perhaps you are ready for the world conker championships, held in Northamptonshire on the second Sunday of October each year?

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