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Photographer's Note

A sticky bud! The leaf bud of the Horse Chestnut tree.

The Horse Chestnut tree gives us Horse chestnuts, which in the UK are sometimes known as 'conkers'. Not as popular as it once was, school children used to gather horse chestnuts to play conkers.
With a string or lace threaded through the centre, children would attempt to hit their opponent's conker with their own and try to break the conker from its string.
The tree was introduced to Britain from the Balkans in the late 16th century; but it was not until some 200 years later that chestnuts were used for the game. Before that, conkers - the name derives from 'conqueror' - were played with cobnuts or snail shells.

The glossy conkers give the tree its American name of 'buck-eye', as the chestnuts are said to resemble the eye of a deer.
Conkers are eaten by deer and cattle, and were sometimes ground up as a meal to fatten sheep.

Horse chestnuts are often grown as ornamental avenue trees for their 'candles' of flowers, and were frequently planted for this purpose as early as the 17th century.
The wood is pale cream or brown; it is very light and weak and of limited economic value.
It is used for toys.

The tree grows rapidly on most soils, but requires plenty of space.

Fully opened leaves in the w/s.

Thanks for looking.

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Additional Photos by Jean Dwyer (jean113) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1473 W: 0 N: 4930] (18987)
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