How to Plant the Seeds From a Buckeye Tree


The buckeye tree (Aesculus glabra) is commonly found growing throughout the state of Ohio, hence Ohio's nickname as the Buckeye State. The tree is prized for its fast growth and low maintenance. Although you can buy buckeye tree saplings, they are usually expensive and difficult to transplant due to their long and fragile taproot. For a cheaper and more reliable buckeye growing experience, collect seeds from an existing tree and plant them yourself.

Step 1

Collect several seeds from the ground beneath a buckeye tree. The seeds typically start ripening and dropping September through October, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Don't pick the seeds from the tree, as those seeds are unripe and won't sprout.

Step 2

Prepare the gardening site. Use a spade to breakup the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Mix in 3 to 4 inches of compost to create a loose, organic, matter-rich soil. Buckeye seeds thrive in such conditions, according to to the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

Step 3

Sow the buckeye seeds in the fall immediately after collecting them. Plant two or three buckeye seeds in the same area, as the seeds only have a 50 percent germination rate. Bury the seeds approximately 3 inches below the soil surface.

Step 4

Cover the planting site with several inches of mulch. The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation advises this helps keep the seeds from being disturbed.

Step 5

Remove the mulch the following spring and begin watering the site once a day with enough water to moisten the soil to a depth of 6 inches. The buckeye seeds will sprout within eight weeks. If more than one seedling emerges, let them grow to a height of 3 to 4 inches and remove all but the strongest and tallest one.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Compost
  • Buckeye tree seeds


  • "Growing Trees from Seed: A Practical Guide to Growing Native Trees, Vines and Shrubs"; Henry Kock, et al.; 2008
  • Ohio Farm Bureau Federation: How to Plant Buckeye Seeds
  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources: Grow Buckeye Trees
Keywords: plant buckeye seed, buckeye tree seed, germinate buckeye seed

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.