From my desk, if I crane my neck to look out of the window I can see the tops of four Sweet Chestnut trees (Castanea Sativa), between 3-6m tall. Underneath the autumn canopy is an abundance of fruits, encased in a sea urchin like spiny husk. The case opens into four sections on maturity to reveal up to three nuts, the tufted end being the remains of the flower stigma.
The leaves are leathery, elliptical, pointed with a serrated margin and turn a crisp golden brown at leaf fall. The Sweet Chestnut is more closely related to the Oak and Beech than the Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) which produces the more familiar inedible conker. The fruit are popular with jays and squirrels.