In the vicinity of the Royal Institute of Natural Sciences of Belgium, Rue Vautier, 31 Brussels
GPS coordinates :
50.8379 , 4.3775
Scientific inventory
Tree-Walk through Leopold's Park


Category :
Arbre remarquable
Latin name :
Aesculus hippocastanum
French name :
Marronnier commun
Dutch name :
Witte paardenkastanje
English name :
Common horse chestnut
Family :
Height :
22 m
Targeted height :
This species can grow up to 30–35 m
Diameter of the crown :
20 m
Trunk circumference :
323 cm
Expected circumference :
700 cm
Expected longevity :
Can live for 300 years
Origin / Indigenous
Originally from the Balkans and Anatolia, it spread throughout Europe in the middle of the 16th century
Favorite soil :
Likes all soil types, but not too dry if possible
Favorite climate
Cool to temperate and Mediterranean

Usefulness and services of the tree :

Enhances the landscape :
+++ A living monument in the landscape, with a unique architecture
Enhances the biodiversity :
+++ veteran tree that supports plants, lichens, fungi, insects and bird nests
Provide oxygen :
Purify the air :
+++ idem
Filter the water :
Prevents flooding :
not relevant criterion: tree at the top of the slope
Stores carbon :
+ large trunk biomass but its wook is degrading fast
Softens the climate :
Limits soil erosion :
Does good, heals :
Collection of the Belgian State, permanent loan to the Meise Botanic Garden : Hempel, Die Bäume und Sträucher dese Waldes, pl. 47, 1889

Features and characters of the individual

This gigantic common horse chestnut, as wide as it is high, sits at the top of the hill in Leopold Park. Stocky and powerful, almost intimidating, the tree is the guardian of the small entrance to the park. It is impossible not to notice it, not to slow down. Its presence is so strong, its crown is so dense. Its heavy branches, which cross the path, command the visitor’s respect. A little more and you’d have a hard time getting by. They are sprawling. They control the space, cross paths and fences, and in several places take root in the ground. They seem strangely alive. They give the tree a monstrous appearance. It is called "Le Poulpe". The kind of specimen found in Greek mythology: which Ulysses could have found on his Odyssey.

Photos: Priscille Cazin - Sylvolutions /32shoot asbl
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