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Horse Chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum

Look at the bark of a horse chestnut tree and you will notice the vicious spiral of the trunk. That characteristic is often repeated in the lumber, which generally has a wavy grain at best and is often interlocking or spiraling. You can find some interesting figure, but the wood is difficult to plane without tearing. This is a pity, as the color is interesting and the lumber is otherwise easy to work. Though horse chestnut is used a little in the production of furniture and cabinets, it is generally considered a utility lumber for utensils and packing crates. It is also cut for decorative veneers, especially where there is mottled figure. Horse chestnut seasons poorly and is not durable, but it stains, glues, nails and screws well. The trees dominate many parts of the English countryside.

Type Temperate hardwood
Related species Buckeye or yellow buckeye (A. flava) in the United States
Sources United Kingdom and Europe
Color White to cream, though it yellows with age
Texture Fine and even
Grain Usually spiraling, wavy and interlocking
Hardness Medium, and not very strong
Weight Medium (31 lb./cu, ft.) (500 kg/cu. m)

Horse chestnut should be a good lumber widely used, but it is let down by its grain. Though there are plenty of trees, especially in the United Kingdom, it is not easily available on the commercial market, as is also true of buckeye in the United States. There are no obvious threats to horse chestnut, but no certified supplies.

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Updated: 12/2017   copyright 2011 Rowecraft