Understory small tree ID
Mistook this tree on a hike today for ilex decidua. The form in the understory was nearly identical to what I am used to combined with the small leaves. But on closer examination, the mark is rippled and patchy and the leaves do not look like deciduous holly. Not clear in the photos, but last year's growth had alternate leaf arrangement. What is this?
(sorry for the lack of a pic of the whole tree!)
I looked like a ballerina dancing on nest of scorpions trying to get these pics while avoiding the poison ivy hahaha