Woodland Trust

Nature's CalendarNature Detectives

Have you spotted the first flowering of elder yet?

Horse chestnut. Niall Benviehorse chestnut

Aesculus hippocastanum


Why not download our horse
chestnut fact sheet?

horse chestnut fact sheet  

  • A stout tree up to 30 metres tall, with a huge domed canopy and grey-brown, fairly flakey bark

  • Distinctive leaves, with five or more long leaflets

  • Large red-brown sticky budsHorse chestnut flowers. Rosanna Ballentine

  • Clusters of white/pink flowers (not pink/red - that's a different species) that make it look like a huge candelabra

  • The big mahogany-brown conkers burst from a green spiky fruit (smooth cases tend to be the pink/red flowered species

  • Leaves turn from orange to scarlet in autumn
Where foundConker. Rosey Norton

  • Common in parks, gardens, streets and village greens
  • It was introduced from Turkey in the late 16th century and widely planted here

When to look for

Leaf miner and bleeding canker - should I record my sick horse chestnut?

Fabulous horse chestnut facts

  • The sticky sap on horse chestnut buds protects them from frost damage and insects

  • Horse chestnut conkers are slightly poisonous to most animals, causing sickness if eaten

  • The annual world conker championship has been held in the village of Ashton, Northants, since 1965

  • 'Conker' is derived from the word conch, and the childrens game was originally played with snail shells