Native Texas Trees: Texas Buckeye

Texas is a big state: That means we have lots of native trees. From time to time we like to feature a Texas native tree so you can identify them in your own area. The Texas Buckeye (also referred to as an Ohio Buckeye), Aesculus glabra var. arguta, is classified as a small multi-trunked tree or large shrub. Distinctive features of this native tree are its large palmate leaves and white to yellow spring blooms held in large clusters. The large spiny fruit appears in summer and produce large shiny black seeds. 

Texas Buckeye C. Texas Agricultural Experiment Station

Plants typically grow to 35-40 feet tall and about 35 feet wide in a partial sun location. Texas Buckeye is prone to losing foliage in summer time, especially if spring weather has encouraged fungal diseases. They're most commonly found on hard limestone in the central Edwards Plateau and that is where plants reach their largest size. But they can also be found growing in the northern Blacklands, Pineywoods, Cross Timbers and other areas.  As such, they are adaptable to differnt soils, such as our heavier clay in the DFW area. However, they may remain smaller in these areas.

It is thought that most or all parts of the plant are toxic if consumed. So while those fruit and seed might look appealing, leave them on the trees! Unless of course, you'd like to try growing one form seed. If so, you should collect seed as soon as they drop in the fall and replant in desired location. If you have wooded areas on your property, ravines or shaded hillsides, Texas Buckeye makes a good native understory tree.

If you're in the Dallas area, you can visit the Texas Buckeye Trail off the Trinity at Bexar Street. Dallas Master Naturalists maintain the trail so that it can be enjoyed by hikers. Along this trial, you'll find a large stand of native Texas Buckeye trees that bloom in spring.

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Preservation Tree
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Reply #7 on : Mon October 20, 2014, 10:44:11
Betty - You might look at Chinese Pistache trees. They are moderately fast growers, good shade trees for urban landscapes and have great fall color.
Preservation Tree
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Reply #6 on : Mon October 20, 2014, 10:43:10
Cherie, Without seeing your trees it's difficult to provide any sort of accurate diagnosis. However, it sounds like there could be significant decay, especially if you're noticing it at the base of your trees. You should have them inspected right away by an arborist, as large decaying trees can pose a serious safety hazard!
Preservation Tree
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Reply #5 on : Mon October 20, 2014, 10:41:34
Lark, If there was any major trenching done to remove his trees, it's possible that your tree/plant roots were damaged in the process and this is why you may have lost plants. Also yes, if major drainage has been re-routed to your property it cold be drowning roots of your trees in plants if it's sitting and not draining away properly from your property.
Betty McCluskey
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Reply #4 on : Sun October 19, 2014, 17:48:22
need fastest shade growing tree,must survive texas heat, thank you
cheriebyrd
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Reply #3 on : Sat October 11, 2014, 13:22:25
I live in West Central Florida. I have two oak trees that have green, white and brownish beige stuff on the bark. Bark is also coming off on trunk, and is worse closer to the ground. These are old trees either live or white oak. What can I do? It would cost a fortune to have them removed. Thx for any input
Lark L Wilson
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Reply #2 on : Mon September 29, 2014, 15:42:55
Since my neighbor cleared his property of all his trees, I have lost 3 rose of sharon bushes and 3 trees which were fine prior to him clearing his land. I know he gets his grass treated but I am not sure why all of a sudden my trees are dying. He did change the way the water drains down the property line and I have more water coming from his property and this is where the Rose of Sharon died. Could it be something he is treating his grass with? The trees are in the same general area.
Dean Singleton
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Reply #1 on : Tue September 23, 2014, 21:23:31
I was on the trail in the spring when they were blooming and again today. Every tree that I saw in my earlier photos gave the appearance of being totally dead. Is this normal for this area?