Opinions on Buckeyes- too messy?

krissamn(z4 Mpls.)April 30, 2013

I am going to replace a tree I planted 3 years ago that hasn't lived up to my expectations (Korean Ash). My plan at this point is Buckeye "Autumn Splendor" which I heard about in another GW post. I like the multi-seasonal interest and it looks like a cool tree. Some local nurseries carry it but I just noticed that it is labeled as high maintenance and messy. It is going next to my driveway and near a bball hoop so thought I should slow down instead of impulsively buying it like I did with the Ash. What experience or opinions do others have with a red Buckeye?

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basic(Z4a)

What happened with the Sorbus alnifolia? Too harsh of conditions?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 10:27AM
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lisanti07028(z6NJ)

I have a chestnut tree by my house and driveway and it is a lovely but dreadfully messy tree. First the flowers, then the little chestnuts (no more bare feet once they start), then the full-grown chestnuts (don't park your car under the tree!), then the palmate leaves and the stalks of the chestnuts. Oh, and all the chestnuts around here have some fungus which usually causes the leaves to turn brown and fall early.

My husband still loves it, but I must admit that I wouldn't be upset if it up and died.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 11:11AM
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greenthumbzdude

Red buckeye is cool, it looks like a tropical tree when its flowering and the hummingbirds love it. The only negative I have experienced with this plant is that during late summer the leaves became burnt from the sun and fall off by late August.In other words they prefer shade. Have you considered bottlebrush buckeye? It grows into a large bush/small tree depending on how you prune it. They can handle full sun and produce a similar shaped flower to the red buckeye but its white. Neat plant.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 11:35AM
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krissamn(z4 Mpls.)

The Korean Mtn. Ash doesn't appear to have grown at all. The main lead branch broke off somehow last summer and it just looks sick. When it was delivered and they dropped it off without me being there otherwise I prob. would have sent it back for a different one b/c it never did look fantastic. My parents have some property where I bring all my castoffs so maybe it will do better there.

I'll check out the bottlebrush buckeye as well. I liked the 'autumn splendor' b/c it is a Univ. of Minnesota developed tree and their selections tend to do very well in my area. I have two MN strain redbuds that are just beautiful.

My car would definitely be close to the Buckeye when it gets bigger. I am open to suggestions but I want a tree form b/c it's within an existing garden (used to be a shade garden until the neighbors cut down two mature trees). I would prefer a higher clearance as well and that was another concern with the buckeye, although I saw photos where they were limbed up a bit and looked okay.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 12:42PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

With an Aesculus over a drive you will have fruit balls dropping onto the pavement and anything parked under the tree. Haven't noticed if they all do it but with A. hippocastanum anyway these snap off suddenly and fall forcibly, as though thrown. It is curious and distracting.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 2:37PM
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ginkgonut(4)

I have a huge one in the front yard, mostly over the grass, but does hang over the driveway some. It is a bit messy, but I don't mind. I don't seem get much fruit or maybe the squirrels take them out of the tree before they fall. It leafs out early and defoliates early, usually the last week of September.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 6:06PM
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calliope(6)

Red buckeyes are perhaps one of my fav trees. I loved my first one so much, I did an allee of them. They are low maintenance, as far as I am concerned, have a nice habit with little or no pruning, flowers are especially attractive to hummingbirds, fruit pods are not spiny.

What others have said is not untrue. They do pop their fruits out with force when the seed capsule opens. I find the seed capsules tend to cling to the tree, however and just the seed eject. I have about two weeks after they mature and start to fall where they drop, and most nestle themselves down into the turf and the squirrels and other wildlife remove many of them before I ever gather them up. Not an issue over lawn, but would be over pavement. You also have the large, fallen leaves to contend with come fall. No worse than any other tree and not as bad as most, other than they are stiff and large.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 7:01PM
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j0nd03

I have to say my personal favorite tree for flowering has to be 'Ft. McNair'

I saw one at the Maine Coastal Botanic garden last year in full on flower and was in awe. I snagged one today for $40 at the local garden center and am stoked beyond words!

This after I bought an aesculus pavia earlier this spring =)

John

This post was edited by j0nd03 on Tue, Apr 30, 13 at 19:43

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 7:42PM
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corkball(4)

I see you are in Minneapolis. I live in Twin Cities too... you will NOT be able to grow red buckeye. That is zone 6 or some crazy thing like that. They ARE pretty, but not hardy here.
Autumn Splendor (I have one) is a hybrid of a couple of different buckeyes like Ohio or yellow or something. They are very pretty and have great fall color. Also, they hybrid is far less fertile than straight Ohio buckeye, so you will get less mess than a pure breed. On the down side, it is supposedly 'scorch resistant', but in truth it is NOT. Watering and planting in partial shade may help (scorch won't permanently damage your tree but it is ugly).
If you want something with red flowers, you can try red horsechestnut (see j0nd03 post above - 'Ft. McNair' is a common cultivar you can get at Gertens). Red horse is cross of true horsechestnut and red buckeye i believe, and IS hardy here. Unlike red buckeye, it gets large like its horsechestnut parent.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 7:52PM
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jimbobfeeny(5a IN)

We've got tons of Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra) around here - They make a pretty tree in the spring, since they leaf out early and bloom fairly prettily - They do get fairly blighted most years by Fall, though, so the fall color is less than spectacular. I like them, though, and the woods wouldn't be the same without them. I prefer yellow buckeye (A. flava) for its larger size, larger leaves, and better leaf blight resistance.

Definitely not a bad tree for the larger, less manicured landscape!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 9:38PM
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arbordave (SE MI)

See if you can find 'Homestead' - it's a Yellow x Ohio hybrid with good resistance to leaf scorch, and it's supposed to be seedless. I have one in my yard. Nice looking tree.

I agree with corkball that Autumn Splendor doesn't seem to be very scorch resistant. Also, Autumn Splendor may actually be a straight Ohio buckeye, and not a hybrid.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 8:18PM
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krissamn(z4 Mpls.)

The location will get morning sun but not direct afternoon sun so the scorching may not be as significant.

The images I saw of 'Homestead' look interesting. The fall color is beautiful.
I really like the look of the 'Ft. McNair' as well.

I better decide soon. It's b/w Homestead, autumn Splendor, and Ft. McNair.

Thanks for all your suggestions.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 10:40AM
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