Horse chestnut is in leaf from early April and the flowers follow soon after. As many a schoolchild will know, the conkers appear in September and fall as they ripen, although many are helped on their way by a well-aimed stick. They are often eaten by deer and wood pasture-grazed cattle. When left uneaten, conkers will strike quickly and rapidly grow into good-sized saplings. If this happens near a building, it is advisable to remove the tree as soon as possible as a mature horse chestnut will be expensive to remove. The branches are brittle and may be shed without notice, and its roots will damage foundations and cause subsidence.
The timber from horse chestnut is light in weight and not very strong and, other than pulp wood, has very few uses commercially although it was once used to make artificial limbs. This may be one reason why so many older trees survive to become large, so large in some cases, that they can exceed two metres in diameter.