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Having an Ohio Buckeye Tree in your garden is a wonderful way to mark an important event on the birding calendar. When it first opens its long clusters of pale yellow-green flowers, that’s exactly when the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds return from their overwintering grounds down South. You’ll know to look for hummers then, and no doubt you’ll see them zipping around the Buckeye blossoms. What’s more, you may have other feathered visitors as well. Warblers, redstarts, and orioles are also nectar-eaters, and if you’re lucky, you’ll spot them sipping from Buckeye flowers, too!
- Hardiness Zone: 4-7
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Ohioans love their Buckeye Trees, and this charming native grows most abundantly there, in the Ohio River Valley. Its natural range extends from Pennsylvania to Nebraska and south to Alabama and Kansas. People who hike those woods know Ohio Buckeye like an old friend and look forward to its reappearance each year. The showy leaves are the first of our native trees to emerge in the spring, and they do so with gusto—bursting from plump, shiny buds like flowers. The true flowers show up a few weeks later.
Buckeyes get their name from the notion that the smooth tan and brown seeds look like the eyes of a deer. The seeds are toxic and they were used in the past by Native Americans to catch fish. When crushed and thrown into the water, the seeds would release their poisons, stunning the fish for easy harvest.
How to Grow
Ohio Buckeye, preferring cool, semi-shady sites with deep, moist soil in the wild, appreciates similar conditions in the landscape. Full sun is acceptable as long as the soil doesn’t get too dry. Dry soil will hasten a common Buckeye disease called leaf scorch and lead to premature leaf-drop, though even under the best of circumstances, this can occur and is no cause for alarm. Because of the toxicity of the seeds (as well as of the leaves and twigs), Ohio Buckeye should not be planted where livestock will graze or pets will nibble.
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Size C Trees:
10-12' Tall. Grown Balled and Burlapped. This strong and sturdy tree has excellent branching and is ready to make an immediate impact on your landscape. This tree is BIG! You will need a truck or trailer to bring this new addition home.
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