Horse Chestnut impact on berries?

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by Konachick, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. Konachick

    Konachick Active Member

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    Metro Vancouver Area
    Hi all,
    This past year I planted some blueberry and raspberry plants in the vicinity of a horse chestnut tree. The leaves and seeds do drop on the soil around the berry plants. I recently found out that horse chestnuts are toxic, and wonder if there would be any affect on the blueberries and raspberries and make them unsafe to eat? Hopefully this isn't a silly question!
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    I can't find any reference to it being an issue. The two major groups of poisonous compounds seem to be saponins and glycosides. I found one reference that mentioned saponins rapidly break down in the environment, but I don't know enough organic chemistry to confirm. As for glycosides, they seem to be partly sugar molecules; I would imagine the energy in those chemical bonds would be quickly utilized by bacteria (i.e., they would break down rapidly too). But, that is just a guess. You should do more research on glycoside persistence in the environment.

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