The Ohio buckeye is a neatly rounded tree with low, sweeping branches and dense foliage that provides deep shade. It is one of the first trees to leaf out in the spring. Its name comes from the 'buckeyes,' a small, dark brown nut with a light patch resembling the eye of a deer, which grows inside a rounded prickly fruit capsule. This tree is susceptible to leaf blotch.
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Chicago area
- North America
- Zone 4
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Zone 7
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial sun (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Occasional flooding
- Acid soil
- Alkaline soil
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Large tree (more than 40 feet)
- Medium tree (25-40 feet)
- Mid spring
photo: John HagstromSize and Form
20 to 40 feet high and 20 to 30 feet wide with a rounded to oval shape
Tree & Plant Care
Not recommended for streets or small residential areas because of its messy fruit.
May be difficult to transplant due to the presence of a taproot.
Disease, pests and problems
Susceptible to leaf blotch, powdery mildew and infestation by insects such as scale and Japanese beetles.
Leaf scorch and premature leaf drop is probable in hot, dry periods.
Disease, pest and problem resistance
Tolerant of black walnut toxicity
Native geographic location and habitat
Commonly found near rivers and streams.
Bark color and texture
Bark is light tan to gray; warty when young, becoming more scaly with age.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, texture, and color
Palmately compound and arranged in pairs (opposite); up to 6 inches long
Leaves green with 5 to 7 leaflets
Fall color is yellow to a warm pumpkin-orange.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Large, 12 inch long, upright terminal clusters of yellow-green flowers
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Shiny brown nuts in prickly husk
Buckeyes should not be eaten.