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Fort McNair Horsechestnut is useful in large planting areas, parking lots, open spaces, and highway medians where its large spread can be accommodated.

Tree of the Month: Fort McNair Horsechestnut

By Leonard Phillips, ASLA Emeritus


 


Trade Name: Fort McNair Horsechestnut


Botanical Name: Aesculus x carnea ‘Fort McNair’


Family: Hippocastanaceae


Parentage: Discovered at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.


Year of Introduction: 1991


Hardiness Zone*: 4 – 7


Height: 32 feet


Spread: 30 feet


Growth Rate: Medium, less than 2 feet per year


Form: Rounded


Bloom Period: Early May


Flower: Pink with yellow throat in panicles


Fruit: Brown capsules


Foliage: Palmately compound leaves with many impressed veins


Spring Color: Mid green


Summer Foliage: Dark green


Autumn Foliage: Yellowish


Winter Color: Interest in bark and form


Bark: Dark gray to brown, many shallow fissures create scales


Habitat: Does well in North America


Culture: Well drained soil, avoid dry sites; full sun to part shade; tolerates most pH levels


Pest Resistance: Resistant to leaf blotch disease


Storm Resistance: Good


Salt Resistance: Moderate


Planting: Transplant B&B or container only when tree is young


Pruning: Prune in early spring only


Propagating: Budding, grafting, softwood cuttings


Design Uses: Useful in large planting areas, parking lots, open spaces, highway medians where large spread can be accommodated


Companions: Most groundcovers


Other Comments: Leaf blotch resistance and beautiful spring flowers make this tree very popular


Available From: Select nurseries, may require some searching


 


* For information about the USDA Hardiness Zone Map, visit www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/index.html


 


[ital>These are the personal observations of the author, living in New England – Zone 6. Leonard Phillips can be reached via e-mail at<ital] lenphillips@on-line-seminars.com

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