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Horse chestnut tree appearance wood uses and lumber

Horse chestnut trees are very common throughout Europe and also seen in southern parts of Asia. This member of the chestnut trees is famous due to the big horse shaped leaves. The scientific name of the horse chestnut is aesculus hippocastanum and is part of the fagaceae family. This chestnut tree has visual similarities with the sweet chestnut tree but both wood and lumber properties are very different.

horse chestnut tree the perfect shade tree

Horse chestnut tree, leaf and fruit description

horse chestnut leaves and fruitsHorse chestnut trees can grow to heights up to 130 feet or 40 meters. The tree is classed deciduous and won't have leaves from the end of autumn to early spring.

Horse chestnut leaves are arranged opposite digitate and obovate shaped.This chestnut tree has big leaves that can reach lengths up to 10 inches or 30 cm and vary in colour from light green to yellow in autumn.

The horse chestnut tree has big round and spiny shaped fruits. Inside a big smooth brown seed is found. Horse chestnuts are not eatable like sweet chestnuts and mainly used for decoration purposes.


Horse chestnut tree bark and trunk

Yong horse chestnut trees have smooth green brown bark. When the tree gets older the bark is more flanking into plates and turns darker brown. The trunk of the horse chestnut is not long and splits into many branches. The diameter of the trunk depends on the age of the tree. Old trees can have trunks with a diameter up to 5 feet or 1.5 meters.


Horse chestnut wood properties and durability

Fresh chestnut heartwood has a light to medium yellow color. Sapwood is usually a bit lighter but exposure to sunlight gives the wood a darker color. Horse chestnut wood is known for its fine and sometimes light striped texture, medium weight and good stability. The average dried weight of the wood at a moisture content of 12% is 550 kg per cubic meter. The durability of horse chestnut wood is classed as V low durability.


Horse chestnut wood working tips and uses

horse chestnut wood usesHorse chestnut wood is not as popular as sweet chestnut. The lumber is medium soft and nails, screws, glues, and works well both by hand or machine. Pre drilling is always advised when screws or nails are used.

Horse chestnut wood is used in a wide range of products like

  • firewood,
  • flooring
  • small turned articles
  • sculptures
  • veneer
  • and more!

More horse chestnut tree pictures!