SelecTree: Tree Detail
Photo Locations: Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden - UCLA, Stanford, CA, Cal Poly Campus, San Luis Obispo, CA, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA, Strybing Arboretum - San Francisco, CA and Swanton Pacific Ranch - Davenport, CA
Utility friendly tree.
California Buckeye is a California native which can be quite useful in low water use settings. It can be used as an accent tree by virtue of its very attractive multi-trunk habit, showy fall flowering display, and wintertime silhouette of white trunks against an evergreen background. It grows best in cool, coastal and foothill areas. Its foliage dries to brown in midsummer and drops leaves without supplemental irrigation. It might look dead in a manicured setting, but this is a natural occurrence and the tree is perfectly healthy, conserving water in the summer heat. This can be an attractive winter silhouette. Sudden Oak Death manifested as leaf spot.
Has fragrant Flower.
Native to Central California.
An Aesculus californica in Swanton Pacific Ranch is registered as a California Big Tree. It measures 46 feet high, with a trunk circumference of 176 inches and a crown spread of 60 feet.
Previously listed in the Hippocastanaceae family.
Additional Common Names
CALIFORNIA BUCKEYE, CALIFORNIA HORSE-CHESTNUT
Spreading with a Low Canopy.
Rounded or Spreading Shape.
Has Deciduous foliage.
Height: 10 - 25 feet.
Width: 20 - 30 feet.
Growth Rate: 24 Inches per Year.
Longevity 50 to 150 years.
Leaves Palmately Compound, Bluish Green or Silver or Gray Green, No Change, Deciduous.
Flowers Showy. Fragrant White. Flowers in Spring. Has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower).
Prolific, Brown Capsule, Large (1.50 - 3.00 inches), fruiting in Summer.
Bark Light Gray, Smooth.
Shading Capacity Rated as Dense in Leaf.
Shading Capacity Rated as Low out of Leaf.
Litter Issue is Flowers, Dry Fruit and Leaves.
Tree Site Conditions & Constraints
Sunset Zones 3 - 10 and 14 - 24.
USDA Hardiness Zones 7 - 8.
Exposure Full Sun to Partial Shade.
Moist to Dry Soil.
Clay, Loam or Sand Texture.
Highly Acidic to Slightly Alkaline Soil pH.
Seaside Tolerance is Good in Mild Zone.
Pests & Disease Information
Susceptible to Invasive Shot Hole Borer and Thrip, Armillaria, Phytophthora ramorum Sudden Oak Death and Powdery Mildew.
Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns
Branch Strength Rated as Medium.
Root Damage Potential Rated as Low.
Allergy and Poisonous Health Hazard.
Fire Resistance is Favorable.
Special Uses & Values
Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Aesculus californica Tree Record." 1995-2020. Jul 11, 2020.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/aesculus-californica >
SelecTree Nursery Connection Map
Cal Poly / ESRI