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Ohio Buckeye Trees

Updated on May 28, 2015
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

Both butterflies and hummingbirds love the blooms on this Arboretum Hybrid.

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?

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


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    • profile image

      martinnitsim 5 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

    • Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

      Barbara Anne Helberg 6 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!

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 7 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

    • profile image

      Buckeye4ever 7 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.”

    • BevsPaper profile image

      BevsPaper 7 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 can't eat just one.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 7 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!!!

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

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

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 7 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.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 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.

    • mulberry1 profile image

      mulberry1 7 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!

    • Kay Creates profile image

      Kay Creates 7 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks Valerie

    • valeriebelew profile image

      valeriebelew 7 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 7 years ago from Ohio

      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 :-)

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 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 7 years ago from Ohio

      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.

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 7 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 7 years ago from Ohio

      I agree :-) Thanks BJ

    • BJBenson profile image

      BJBenson 7 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!