|Conker tree - http://vintagetoysblog.files.wordpress.com/|
Perhaps more accurately known as the Common Horse Chestnut tree - Aesculus hippocastanum, the conker tree, is a deciduous, wide spreading, fast growing tree with prominent sticky brown leaf buds and mid to dark green leaves.
The large prickly fruits will naturally drop from the tree when the seeds are ripe in the autumn and usually crack open to reveal the horse chestnut seeds inside as a result of the fall.
Horse chestnut seeds should be planted as soon as possible as germination rates will drop quickly if they are allowed to dry out. As an average only 50 % of conkers will germinate so plant twice as many conkers that you want trees from.
|Horse chestnut sapling - http://sicloot.com/|
Field-grown seedlings can be left in place for two to three years before carefully lifting over the winter once the leaves have dropped, and planted into their final positions. Conker trees will require a position of full sun and planted in a well-drained, but moist, humus-rich soil.
The horse chestnut received it peculiar common name from the mistaken belief that its fruits cured horses of chest complaints. Horse chestnuts are in fact poisonous to horses.
For related articles click onto the following links:
BBC Conker Tree
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HOW TO GROW THE MONKEY PUZZLE TREE
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THE JUDAS TREE
THE ‘NATIVE’ TREES OF ENGLAND
THE WOLLEMI PINE
WHICH FRUITS AND NUTS ARE TOLERANT OF GROWING IN THE SHADE