Aesculus octandra this page uses English units of measure click here to view the file in metric units
Family: Hippocastanaceae
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Yellow Buckeye

The genus Aesculus contains 13 species, which grow in the United States [6], Mexico [1] and Eurasia [6]. Species cannot be separated based on microanatomy. The name aesculus is a Latin name of a European oak or other mast-bearing tree.

 

Aesculus californica-California buckeye, horsechestnut

Aesculus glabra*-American horsechestnut, buckeye, fetid buckeye, Ohio buckeye, sevenleaf buckeye, smooth buckeye, sticking buckeye, stinking buckeye, Texas buckeye, white buckeye

Aesculus glabra var. glabra-Ohio buckeye (typical)

Aesculus glabra var. arguta-Texas buckeye, white buckeye

Aesculus hippocastanum-buckeye, common horsechestnut, conker-tree, European horsechestnut, horse chestnut (Europe)

Aesculus octandra*-big buckeye, buckeye, large buckeye, Ohio buckeye, sweet buckeye, yellow buckeye

Aesculus parviflora-bottlebrush buckeye, shrubby buckeye

Aesculus pavia-buckeye, firecracker plant, red buckeye, red-flowered buckeye, red pavia, scarlet buckeye, woolly, woolly buckeye

Aesculus sylvatica-dwarf buckeye, Georgia buckeye, painted buckeye

*commercial species

 

Distribution

In the United States, buckeye ranges from the Appalachians of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina westward to Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Buckeye is not customarily separated from other species when manufactured into lumber and can be utilized for the same purposes as aspen, basswood, and sap yellow-poplar. The following description is for yellow buckeye (Aesculus octandra).

 

The Tree

Buckeye is a tree 30 to 70 ft (9 to 21 m) high and 2 ft (0.6 m) in diameter. It grows best in rich moist soil along the banks of streams and in river bottoms. Buckeye matures in 60 to 80 years. It is one of the initial trees to leaf-out in the spring. The twigs have a foul odor when broken.

 

The Wood

General

The white sapwood of buckeye merges gradually into the creamy or yellowish white heartwood. The wood is uniform in texture, generally straight-grained, light in weight, weak when used as a beam, soft, and low in shock resistance. It is rated low on machinability such as shaping, mortising, boring, and turning. The centers of logs can be discolored to grayish brown, due to a sapstain fungus.

 

 

Mechanical Properties (2-inch standard)

Compression
Specific

gravity

MOE

x106 lbf/in2

MOR

lbf/in2

Parallel

lbf/in2

Perpendicular

lbf/in2

WMLa

in-lbf/in3

Hardness

lbf

Shear

lbf/in2

Green
0.33
0.98
4,800
2,050
210
5.4
290
660
Dry
0.36
1.17
7,500
4,170
440
5.9
350
960
aWML = Work to maximum load.

Reference (59).

 

Drying and Shrinkage

Type of shrinkage
Percentage of shrinkage
(green to final moisture content)
0% MC
6% MC
20% MC
Tangential
8.1
6.5
2.7
Radial
3.6
2.9
1.2
Volumetric
12.5
10.0
4.2
References: 0% MC (98),
6% and 20% MC (90).

Kiln Drying Schedulesa

Stock
Condition
4/4, 5/4, 6/4
8/4
10/4
12/4
16/4
Standard
T10-F4
T8-F3
aReferences (6, 86).

Working Properties: No information available at this time.

Durability: Rated as slightly or nonresistant to heartwood decay.

Preservation: No information available at this time.

Uses: Furniture, artificial limbs, splints, boxes and crates, caskets and coffins, paper pulp, signs, trunks, valises, scientific instruments, wooden ware, novelties, food containers, strips woven into summer hats, and planing mill products.

Toxicity: The nuts and twigs are poisonous, containing aescin, a cytotoxin (54).

 

 

 

 

Additional Reading and References Cited (in parentheses)

6. Boone, R.S.; Kozlik, C.J.; Bois, P.J.; Wengert, E.M. 1988. Dry kiln schedules for commercial woodstemperate and tropical. Gen. Tech. Rep. FPLGTR57. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory.

9. Brown, H.P.; Panshin, A.J. 1940. Commercial timbers of the United States, their structure, identification, properties and uses. New York: McGrawHill Book Co.

19. Collingwood, G.H. 1938. Ohio buckeye. American Forests. July.

24. Davis, E.M. 1942. Machining and related characteristics of southern hardwoods. Tech. Bull. 324. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

27. Duff, J.E. 1973. Buckeye, an American wood. FS222. Washington, DC: U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

29. Elias, T.S. 1980. The complete trees of North America, field guide and natural history. New York: van Nostrand Reinhold Company.

35. Gibson, H. 1913. American forest trees. Hardwood Record.

37. Harlow, W.M.; Harrar, E.S. 1950. Textbook of dendrology, covering the important forest trees of the United States and Canada. New York: McGrawHill Book Company.

51. Koehler, A. 1917. Guidebook for the identification of woods used for ties and timbers. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

54. Lampe, K.F.; McCann, M.A. 1985. AMA handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. Chicago, IL: American Medical Association.

55. Little, Jr., E.L. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agric. Handb. 541. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. U.S. Government Printing Office.

59. Markwardt, L.J.; Wilson, T.R.C. 1935. Strength and related properties of woods grown in the United States. Tech. Bull. 479. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. U.S. Government Printing Office.

66. Nellis, J.C. 1918. Lumber used in the manufacture of wooden products. Bull. 605. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

68. Panshin, A.J.; de Zeeuw, C. 1980. Textbook of wood technology, 4th ed. New York: McGraw—Hill Book Co..

74. Record, S.J.; Hess R.W. 1943. Timbers of the new world. New Haven, CT: Yale
University Press.

79. Sargent, C.S. 1905. Manual of the trees of North America. New York: Houghton,
Mifflin and Co.

86. Simpson, W.T. 1991. Dry kiln operator's manual. Ag. Handb. 188. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory.

90. Summitt, R.; Sliker, A. 1980. CRC handbook of materials science. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Inc. Vol. 4.

98. U.S. Department of Agriculture. 1987. Wood handbook: wood as an engineering material. Agric. Handb. 72. (Rev.) Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 466 p.