D12: Horse Chestnut: Aesculus hippocastanum “Baumannii”
The Horse Chestnut originates in Greece, and the Balkans and was introduced into this country in 1616, probably by John Tradescant the elder, gardener explorer and plant collector for the nobility and creator of the first public museum in Britain. This cultivar was discovered by A.N. Baumann near Geneva in 1820 and was propagated as a branch sport from the mother. It is double flowered, sterile and produces no conkers.
The trees can grow to 40 m high, and can live for 300 years. They are generally shallow rooted and this led them to being used in Germany to shade beer cellars and to the tradition of the beer garden. Some medicinal activity is attributed to extracts. They are all subject to the leaf mining moth, Cameraria ochridella, and we are putting leaf miner traps up to help reduce the infestation. Our trees are described as “remarkable” in the national Tree Register. You can view their spectacular flowering in our drone flight available in “Park Flights” from the website menu.
Some branches are strapped together in two trees, and in 2019 a large lower branch came down in the northern most tree. One tree seems to have weakened over the summer of 2023