Know Ohio: The Buckeye Tree

I bet you're wondering why I’m wearing this super cool necklace. Check it out - it's made from buckeye nuts!

The name buckeye actually comes from Native Americans. They thought the lighter circular part of the nut, called the eye, looked very similar to the eye of a deer.

They come from the state tree, known as the Ohio buckeye or by its official name "aesculus glabra". The Ohio buckeye tree can be found scattered throughout our state. But even though it’s our state tree, it can also be found as far east as Pennsylvania and westward to areas of Kansas and Nebraska.

Ohio's nickname as the buckeye state can be attributed to William Henry Harrison. During his presidential campaign back in 1840, his opponents commented that he was better suited to be sitting in a log cabin. Harrison's supporters decided to put a positive spin on that reference and dubbed him the 'log cabin candidate', creating his campaign emblem with a log cabin made from buckeye timbers and fashioned with strings of buckeyes decorating the walls.

The state nickname took off after that.

But the buckeye did more than help Harrison during his presidential campaign. Pioneering families used the buckeye to help cure minor ailments. And get this - before we had synthetic materials, buckeye wood was used to make artificial limbs.

But there is a downside. The buckeye nut is poisonous to people and animals, as is the foliage.

And if you're looking for the tallest Ohio buckeye tree in the might be disappointed. A tree in Oak Brook, Illinois dethroned the previously tallest tree in Greenwich, Ohio back in 2008. Oh well, I’m still going to wear my necklace since according to folklore, carrying a buckeye brings good luck.

Instructional Links

Website: Kids Activities Woo! Kid-Friendly Recipe, Buckeyes, AKA Peanut Butter Balls

Website: Ohio History Connection, Ohio's State Tree - Buckeye's_State_Tree_-_Buckeye?rec=1880

Website: Arbor Day Foundation, Buckeye Tree

Support Provided By

More Wcpn Schedule
More Wclv Schedule
90.3 WCPN
WCLV Classical 104.9
NPR Hourly Newscast
The Latest News and Headlines from NPR
This text will be replaced with a player.
This text will be replaced with a player.
This text will be replaced with a player.