Horse chestnut: cultivation of the ornamental tree and related species. Diseases, treatments and fruit information.
L'horse chestnutit is a tree much appreciated for its ability to elegantly decorate green spaces and gardens. On this page we will talk about the cultivation of horse chestnut and its varieties.
Thanks to its properties, thehorse chestnutis well known among lovers of natural medicine and herbal medicine. It has the reputation of being able to soothe circulatory disorders, pain and related symptoms such as heaviness, swelling, pain and itching. Its properties seem to be useful in the treatment of hemorrhoids, cellulite and capillary fragility.
Those with a lot of space in the garden can focus on growinghorse chestnutAesculus hippocastanum while those who have little space can aim for less majestic species and varieties of equal beauty. There are several minor tree species or shrub species that reproduce the elegance ofhorse chestnutin smaller spaces.
The classichorse chestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum, for about 15 years, has been attacked by a small miner moth which causes a tragic defoliation. This moth, Cameraria ohridella, is the cause of the most common horse chestnut disease: in a few weeks it causes the loss of leaves.
To combat this parasite, there are no natural remedies and, at the moment, it is only possible to resort to endotherapy. Endotherapy is a rather expensive specialized technique, it consists in injecting an aqueous solution containing the active ingredient into the stem of the plant capable of eliminatingCameraria ohridella. The treatment is not without contraindications as the same active ingredient can damage other tissues of the plant and "good" insects, especially bees that feed on horse chestnut flowers.
The minor species appear to be immune to the Cameraria ohridella parasite so they can be cultivated with a light heart. Among the differenthorse chestnutswe mention the cross between the white-flowered Aesculus hippocastanum and Aesculus pavia, a species of horse chestnutshrub of American origin. The leaves are similar to those ofcommon horse chestnutbut in this case the flowers are dark pink and smaller in size: it reaches a height of 8 - 12 meters. Those who need even more limited spaces can point to the shrub speciesAesculus parviflora which reaches a height of 4 meters and develops horizontally with a width of 5-7 meters. This species is very resistant to drought and cold and can also be grown as an unusual hedge.
L'horse chestnutcommon reaches a height of 25 - 30 meters and is noted for its strange fruit (which is actually the seed!) which vaguely resembles thechestnuts. For the similarity, the horse chestnut seed is called "chestnut crazy ".
The fruits ofhorse chestnutthey are the large round and greenish capsules, they are equipped with short spikes which, between the valves, contain the large shiny brown seed. Each fruit can also contain two or three seeds.
The seeds of the horse chestnutNOTthey are edible. Horse chestnut seeds are rich in starch and for this reason, in ancient times, they were used for feeding horses; that's how the name was bornhippocastanuswhich means "chestnuts for horses". For the "crazy chestnuts" of the horse chestnut are they not edible?Because they are rich in saponin, a compound that makes them bitter. The seed of this plant was reduced to a paste for use as a detergent and, in folk medicine, it is still used today for its vasoconstrictive properties.
Cultivation of the common horse chestnut
L'horse chestnutit is a tree of few necessities, it is appreciated for its flowering which reappears, every year, in the spring period. Those who want to start growing the horse chestnut from seed, from the moment of sowing to the first planting outdoors, will have to wait two or three years.
The tree prefers a sunny position but can tolerate light shading. Upon reaching adulthood, the horse chestnut bears the cold easily. It prefers fertile, deep and well-drained soils, however it grows well in limestone soils.
During the entire period of cultivation of the horse chestnut, periodic fertilization with organic fertilizer must be performed to be administered in autumn or winter.