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This used to be one of the most common trees throughout a good portion of the east and the Appalachian Mountains. Starting in the early 1900's, a fungal pathogen started to destroy the population, and now it is a fairly rare species in the east. Chestnut blight still prevents trees from becoming fully grown. If you find it today, you are most likely to see it as stump sprouts from trees that died long ago.
One of the best ways to confirm your identification in the winter are through the fruits of the tree. They present as round, prickly burs, just larger than the size of a golf ball.