What to Know About the Buckeye

tree crown

Here in Ohio, the buckeye is an important symbol. The state’s largest institute of higher education, the Ohio State University, chose the buckeye for its mascot and nickname. “Brutus the Buckeye,” seen on the sidelines at every Ohio State game, is a proud reminder of this heritage. The buckeye has also lent its name to a mouth-watering chocolate and peanut butter candy; a tray of buckeyes is certain to elevate any party platter.

But, in terms of trees, what a buckeye? Might you want one in your front yard?

You may think of Tree Images as southern Ohio’s premier company for tree removal, and you would be correct. We can, however, also advise and assist with the planting of new trees.

The buckeye tree is named so for its nuts. Those nuts, which are toxic and not to be eaten, resemble the deep-brown eyes of a male deer. Hence the buckeye nuts.

The rest of the tree produces yellowish-green spring flowers, and bright orange leaves in the fall. A buckeye tree can grow more than 50 feet tall, so it is best suited for large yards. The tree is native to Ohio, so it is well suited to the state’s climate. It thrives in most (not wet, but moist) soil, so it often flourishes growing near a river or a stream.

The buckeye often grows as a so-called “understory” tree, meaning that it is in partial shade. This tree does well in partial shadow of older and bigger trees.

Since the buckeye’s leaves are so dense, it tends to block the ground beneath it, making it difficult to grow grass under it.

What’s That Smell?

The buckeye has a few nicknames, such as “stinking buckeye” and “fetid buckeye.” The reason? Its leaves smell bad when they are crushed. (That never gets mentioned in the OSU literature for some reason.) This smell should not be a discouragement, however, as during most times you will not be crushing the buckeye’s leaves. And if the odor makes for issues, you can always call us for tree removal.