The tree Ohio Buckeye, Fetid Buckeye, or American Buckeye is the common name for the tree belonging to the species Aesculus Glabra. Of the 13 to 19 species of Aesculus Glabra is one of them; it is also called “Horse Chestnuts.” The state tree of Ohio is the Ohio buckeye. In addition, its unique name leads you to remember William Henry Harrison. Capt. Daniel Davis, working for General Rufus Putnam of the Ohio Company of Associates, pioneer of the frontier of Ohio.
The buckeye is unique trees, branded for bearing flowers in the early spring as well as for the seeds which gave them this distinctive name in the group of trees.
Buckeye trees are frequently smaller types of trees, their canopy is distributed in accordance with the height. Among the few bigger varieties in this group the yellow and Ohio buckeyes stand as tall as 50 feet or above.
Buckeye leaves and nuts are toxic. These buckeye nuts are also dried, in the process of hardening, when they are exposed to the atmosphere; they turn dark in color. Analogous to the Kukui nuts of Hawaii, they too are strung in the form of necklaces.
The name has similarity to the nut, which has a dull patch on the red shining base, like deer’s eyes. Buckeyes similar to the Horse Chestnut are treasured as decorative trees on account of their beautiful bunch of flowers like a candelabra.
This tree is an average sized deciduous type that grows to heights of 15 – 25 m (49-82 ft).
The compound leaves are oriented in the form of a palm with five (occasionally seven) leaflets, which are as long as 8 to 16 cm (3.1 to 6.3 in) and broad enough. The shape of the fruit is either oblong or round spiny capsules, which are of diameter, 4 to 5 cm (1.6 to 2.0 in). There are 1 – 3 nuts of diameter 2 to 3 cm (0.79 to 1.18 in) contained in the capsule; they are brown in color having a basal scar that is whitish.
Tannic acid, which is toxic, is a constituent of the fruit; this is toxic to human beings and cattle. The American Natives blanch the fruit, extract the tannic acid and use them in leather manufacturing.
This tree is indigenous to the districts of the lower Great Plains and the Midwestern region, which belongs to the United States, and stretches towards the southeastern regions of Nashville Basin. It is seen in the local areas in the far southwestern regions of Ontario, situated on the Walpole Island in the St. Clair Lake, and also in remote areas towards the South.
GROWING AT HOME
Soil for Planting
Dig the soil to a depth of 10 inches using a garden fork or shovel and loosen it in the location you intend to plant the Buckeye. Reuse the shovel for jamming any dirt or big lumps and discard any rocks, roots or other debris seen. Use a rake and level up the site.
Buckeye trees are planted during fall or spring. They thrive in bright sunlight or limited shade. They tolerate all types of soils, with the exception of very dry surroundings. Make the hole sufficiently deep to a minimum of double the width to house the root ball.
While establishing the tree in the hole, use either a flat tool handle, or a yardstick in between the hole to ensure that the surrounding soil and the tree soil line are at level. Trees buried deep in the hole are liable to decay. Refill the hole using unaltered soil. Till the next spring you need not supplement the soil with any fertilizers.
Place the buckeye seed two inches below the surface of the soil. Then fill soil into the hole, cover the hole with a square screen mesh to prevent it from the foraging squirrels and gophers. Over the mesh, apply straw to a height of 3 inches to retain the seeds in its place until winter.
When the thawing of the soil takes place in spring, rake back the straw, without disturbing the seeds.
Till the tree is set well and starts growing, always remember to water it copiously when there is no rain. Further water it once a week. Mulching to a height of 2 – 3 inch layer aids the soil in retaining even moisture. In order to prevent rotting of the trunk draw the mulch a few inches from it. In the first phase of the growth, properly water your buckeye seedlings; this enhances the roots to sit well in the soil deep and wide enough. Water the tree weekly once, which helps retain moisture throughout. However, avoid over watering, which leads to suffocation of the roots. Wet soil prevents good setup of the roots. When the roots are well set in the soil, reduce intervals of watering. Buckeyes are woody trees. They require little water, even, during drought season as well as in the hot periods, ensure that your tree gets the necessary water for maintaining their health condition.
Flowering and Maturing
During spring we find the flowers in the form of pinnacles, each flower is of length 2 to 3 cm (0.79 to 1.18 in) and yellow or green with yellow hue in color. Their petals are shorter than the stamens (quite different from their yellow buckeye in which the petals are shorter than the stamens).
The peculiarity of buckeye is they bloom early in the spring, like the wildflowers of the woods.
Use a balanced fertilizer, which is a 10-10-10 for fertilizing your buckeye seedlings. Observe the instructions given and reduce the period given in the fertilizer’s label
When the summer is too hot, make available shade for the seedling. In order to protect the leaves from scorching and from being stressed by the heat, make use of a shade cloth to avoid fresh growth which will frost and rot, reduce the limit of watering and fertilizing.
In the initial years, apply fertilizers frequently. In the initial stage of its growth, the trees consume food heavily. When the seeds start sprouting or when you transplant them, provide a liquid fertilizer. In the initial 2 years, keep a schedule of feeding them monthly.
During winter and summer, apply mulch to your buckeye tree. Organic mulch like sawdust or dried grass is ideal.
During summer and winter, mulching of your buckeye is necessary. The ideal mulch is organic materials like sawdust or hay. This supplements the nutritive value of the soil when it decomposes. Mulch helps to establish the temperature of the soil.
Mulch your buckeye tree in the summer and winter. It is best to use organic material such as dried grass or sawdust. This will add to the nutritive content of the soil as it decomposes. Mulch will help maintain the soil temperature within an ideal range.
Buckeyes normally grow at a slow pace. In case you trim them while young, perhaps trimming repeatedly becomes necessary. Late trimming in spring is ideal. In order to get a good shape trim the tree in its youth.
Pest and Pesticides
If at all you notice any diseased, damaged or broken parts of the plant, snip them off, this reduces the risk of spread of diseases. Besides, it shows the way for fresh and healthier growth.
Ohio Buckeye botanically named Aesculus Glabra is a beautiful tree, frequently noticed by the round shaped canopy, and a thick fissured, dense and gray bark.
This California or Buckeye Aesculus, is a peculiar type of western species. This small tree is normally only as tall as 25 ft. This tree grows in the coastal regions of California and on the western slopes.
Ohio buckeye (A. glabra) also known as Fetid Buckeye or the Horse Chestnut (American) is the most notable among them, most of which grow to about 21 ft. Their leaves and twigs smell bad when crushed. The yellow or sweet, buckeye (A. octandra or A. flava), showing yellow flowers represents among the largest such trees that grow to 89 feet or 27 meters. You can see plenty of these trees in the National Park at Great Smoky Mountains. A. Pavia or the Red buckeye has red flowers and is a small 7.6 m tree that is attractive. A. parviflora or Bottlebrush buckeye (), from Alabama and Georgia, is 11 ft. (3.5 m) attractive shrub.