Grow Buckeye Trees
Buckeye seeds have usually ripened by September and are falling from the trees till early October.
Collect your seeds from the ground soon after they fall and remove them from the husk. Take extra care not to let them dry out. Do not pull seed pods from the tree before the Buckeyes have ripened.
The seed should be planted in the fall at about a three inch depth in loose, well worked soil. Plant more buckeyes than you will need since only about fifty percent of them will germinate. Place two to three inches of mulch over the top of the buckeyes (straw or well rotted sawdust works nicely). The mulch will help hold the soil in place over the winter and should be removed in early spring after the ground thaws.
Keep the soil moist but not wet until after the seed has germinated. Then apply water as needed to maintain about one inch per week. Lightly fertilize with a balanced fertilizer once per month. Water and fertilizer should be stopped by mid-August to allow the seedling sufficient time to harden off before winter.
If you have the means to do so, light shade is recommended. Shade cloth or snow fence placed above the seedling during the hot summer months will help in preventing leaf scorch and reduce heat stress on the seedlings. Commercially available “tree shelters” are very good for these purposes, also.
Squirrels have a tendency to dig up seeds. If you are planting seeds in an area that has squirrels, it is recommended that a screen mesh be laid over the planted seeds before covering them with mulch. Remove the screen in the spring when you remove the mulch.
You should have buckeyes large enough to transplant in one to two years.
Key Points to Remember
Collect seed after it falls from the tree
DO NOT LET THE SEED DRY OUT
Plant the seed about three inches deep
Mulch over winter
Water, but do not over-water
Lightly shade if possible