How to Plant Horse Chestnut Trees

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The horse chestnut is a large flowering tree similar in appearance to buckeyes, with big white blossoms that appear in the spring. The summer season brings green seedpods to the tree that are also attractive, and the bark and limbs have interesting, twisted patterns. If you live in growing zones 3 to 8, you can grow a horse chestnut tree of your own.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Horse chestnut sapling
  • Gardening gloves
  • Spade or shovel
  • Compost
  • Mulch

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  1. 1

    Select an area for your tree that gets full sunlight and has soil that is rich and well-drained but can retain some moisture.

  2. 2

    Purchase a horse chestnut sapling in the spring or early fall from a nursery. Check for a healthy-looking sapling that is at least 1 foot tall. Most saplings are available in plastic containers or burlap bags.

  3. 3

    Dig a hole for the tree that is three times the width of the root ball and is deep enough to plant the tree so that the root ball will be flush with the surrounding soil.

  4. 4

    Set the tree in the hole straight and secure it in that position by adding soil on all sides to support the tree. Fill the hole with water and allow it to soak in completely.

  5. 5

    Add compost to the hole as well as the rest of the excavated soil. Tamp the soil down, but not too firmly, so that the soil is still well-aerated. Add a mulch ring around the tree, leaving four to six inches next to the trunk free of mulch.

  6. 6

    Water your newly planted trees regularly. A horse chestnut tree needs regular water and will not do well in dry conditions. Once your trees are well-established, you will need to do little besides some pruning in late winter to shape them to your preference.

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