Aesculus flava – yellow buckeye
I originally set out to capture a horse chestnut tree, but that failed miserably. I traveled through 3 countries in my search for a good specimen but couldn’t find a suitable one. It’s a sad story really. Horse chestnuts are being eaten alive by a tiny moth called horse-chestnut leaf miner, which has been spreading through Europe over the past decades. The once so fresh looking chestnut trees now look brown and unhealthy, and they lose their leaves very early on. Not a beautiful sight and definitely not twig material.
I then turned to another species in the same family and found a red horse chestnut, which is a hybrid of the horse chestnut and the pavia. But when I found one, it was covered in mildew, a white mold. Finally I found this peculiar tree, the yellow buckeye, on a map of all the trees around my region. 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.
A strong grower.