Ohio Buckeye Trees

Grove of Buckeye Trees
Grove of Buckeye Trees

The Buckeye Tree And The Buckeye State

The buckeye tree is Ohio's official state tree. While the tree got its nickname from Indians who noticed that the light colored circular part of the hard nut resembled a buck's eye, its fame may be credited to our ninth president, Ohioan William Henry Harrison. When Harrison ran for president his detractors suggested that he was the kind of guy that would sit around a log cabin and get drunk. He turned the tables on them and promoted himself as the log cabin candidate. The emblem designed for his campaign featured a cabin made of buckeye tree logs and promotional items made of buckeye tree wood were used to court voters. Buckeyes were even featured in a campaign song. Ohioans were nicknamed Buckeyes and we carry that name proudly today.


Buckeye trees are fast growing shade trees that are members of the Hippicastanaceae (Horse Chestnut) family. While their fruits may resemble chestnuts, unlike chestnuts they are poisonous and should not be consumed.

Ohio Buckeye Tree
Ohio Buckeye Tree

Aesulus Glabra ~ Ohio Buckeye Tree

This Is a medium sized, cold hardy and densely growing tree that offers a lot of shade. You may have seen its 5 pointed leaf decorating the helmets of Ohio football players whose team is the buckeye's namesake. It's leaves appear early in spring and yellow or greenish yellow flowers appear in May.They're said to have a foul odor though I never seem to find them particularly odiferous. Its autumn leaves are colorful. The seed capsule contains just one seed that will mature in the fall. These trees are easily propagated from seeds.

The wood of the buckeye tree is porous and has an interesting texture. Its popular with wood carvers and at one time was used to make artificial limbs.

Aesculus Pavia ~ Red Buckeye Tree

The red buckeye tree is a small and very fast growing shrubby tree that offers a showy display of long red flowers that bloom in early spring. These blooms are very attractive to hummingbirds. This tree is shade tolerant but blooms best with plenty of sun. While attractive in spring, it is one of the first trees to lose its leaves in late summer or early autumn.

Red Buckeye Tree
Red Buckeye Tree
Arnold Buckeye Tree
Arnold Buckeye Tree

Aesculus x Arnoldiana ~ Arnold Buckeye Tree

This hybrid is a larger tree that offers yellowish red flowers in spring and beautiful fall foliage.

Aesculus Sylvatica ~ Painted Buckeye Tree

The Painted Buckeye is a small tree or large shrub that blooms early producing pinkish green or yellowish green flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. There are multiple seeds in its capsule and like all buckeyes, they are poisonous.

Seed Capsules of Painted Buckeye Tree
Seed Capsules of Painted Buckeye Tree
Arboretum Buckeye
Arboretum Buckeye

Buckeyes are often used for crafts. Jewelry made from buckeyes are popular with Ohio football fans as buckeyes are said to bring good luck

Have you ever seen a buckeye tree?

See results without voting


Buckeye tree fruits are poisonous. Do what Ohioans do and eat the yummy peanut butter and chocolate replicas instead.

More by this Author

Comments 18 comments

BJBenson profile image

BJBenson 6 years ago from USA

I have traveled the world in the twenty-five and have carried my buckeyes with me everywhere.

I guess that makes me a true buckeye!

Kay Creates profile image

Kay Creates 6 years ago from Ohio Author

I agree :-) Thanks BJ

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Well, tell us then, Buckeye, does the tree need a lot of water to survive, or will a semi dry area do? And "beautiful fall foliage" means what? Does it shed its leaf?

Kay Creates profile image

Kay Creates 6 years ago from Ohio Author

When first planted a buckeye tree will need watered until the roots are established. Once established there is no need to water the tree unless there are periods of drought.

Beautiful fall foiliage means leaves with bright fall colors such as red, orange gold.

As stated, these trees d0 loose their leaves. They do not leaf over the winter.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

I thought you could eat buckeyes if you cooked them?? Oops! I think we ate some!

Kay Creates profile image

Kay Creates 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Is it possible that it was chestnuts Habee? I know that Indians used to make some sort of mash out of buckeyes after leaching out the toxins, but everything I've read on food safety says they shouldn't be eaten. The chocolate ones are best :-)

valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

Interestiing write on the Buckeye tree. I am a lover of trees, but most of ours are pine type, and I have many on my property. (: v

Kay Creates profile image

Kay Creates 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Thanks Valerie

mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 6 years ago

Well, I knew Ohio was the Buckeye state (and, in fact I lived there a few years) but I had no idea that the buckeyes were poisonous. Lucky I'm not one to go around stuffing unknown things in my face!

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Kay, I grew up in Ohio so I have seen buckeyes and knew that was the state tree. I didn't know all the extra information you put in this hub and it is very interesting. Thanks.

D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 6 years ago from Lancashire north west England

Hi here in England we have a red chestnut tree which is a hybrid between the common horsechestnut tree and the red buckeye. They are magnificent trees as was this hub. Beautiful photographs . Best Wishes.

billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

Now I know why Ohio State are the Buckeyes! Thanks for that Kay. Your hubs have such great images.

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

Turn-the-tables people are the smartest of the bunch! Thanks for the informative hub and links to those recipes!!!

BevsPaper profile image

BevsPaper 6 years ago from Central Indiana

I knew that Ohio was known as the Buckeye State but never knew why...that was an interesting fact about Harrison.

Used to make Buckeye candy...which is not poisonous but addictive...just like the famous potato chip...you can't eat just one.

Buckeye4ever 6 years ago

In case anyone is curious, here's the Harrison buckeye song:

“Oh where, tell me where was your buckeye cabin made?

Twas built among the merry boys who wield the plough and spade,

Where the log cabins stand, in the bonnie buckeye shade.

Oh what, tell me what is to be your cabin’s fate?

We’ll wheel it to the capital and place it there elate,

for a token and a sign of the bonnie Buckeye state.”

Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 6 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

great story about the president and native american connection. i love stuff like that! i always wondered why the team was called the buckeyes. thanks for sharing

Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

Barbsbitsnpieces 5 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

@Kay Creates...That would be THE Ohio State University Buckeyes (even if we aren't too proud this season -- 2011); however, we won't let a few rotten buckeyes spoil the mix!

Nice work on sharing the different types of buckeye trees and buckeye history!

martinnitsim 4 years ago

well steve if you are still in need of them i think this is there web address

and details, they have a deal on at the mo ,tell them martin n said you would sort him out

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article