Sapindaceae / Aesculus flava – yellow buckeye
I originally set out to capture a horse chestnut tree, but my search across 3 countries ended in failure. Every tree I found was affected by the leaf miner moth – the once so fresh looking chestnut trees now look brown and unhealthy, even losing their leaves early on in the season. Not a beautiful sight and definitely not twig material. It’s a sad story really.
I then turned to the red horse chestnut, a hybrid of the horse chestnut and the pavia. But the one I found was covered in white mildew mold. I then I turned to the peculiar yellow buckeye tree, which I found on a regional map of trees. I’d never seen this tree before and I don’t think there are any others of its kind anywhere remotely close. That may change soon I think, because this was the only healthy tree in its family that I could find.
Originally from Eastern North America, I hope it will find its way to Europe soon to diversify the trees we grow here. The yellow buckeye’s leaves are thicker and hopefully more resistant. Like all trees in its family, the leaves are palmately compound. You can think of them as maple leaves that are cut in much further. Buckeyes are indeed family of maples, too.