Hello! I found this little tree growing in my yard and am very curious to know what it is. I live in Sylvania, Ohio. Took these pics yesterday: 3-16-12 He is growing under some tall thin pine trees and gets some sun as lower branches of pines have been trimmed off. he is 6″ tall and the width across the top of the leaves is about 4″ wide Hope you can identify.
Your baby tree is most likely a European horsechestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum. The other possibility, though to me not as likely, is the closely related Ohio buckeye – Aesculus glabra. The horsechestnut leaves tend to be more pleated like yours, and the bark is smoother, like yours. These are among the earliest plants to leaf out. There are a few other species that are mostly southern. Aesculus is rather common in South Carolina as well. I’d consider it a keeper! These trees are really beautiful, in my opinion. You should know they are also very deeply rooted. Are you sure it is a ‘he’ ??? [just kidding!]
Steve Hill SCNPS