This tree can be found throughout the eastern and central portions of North America. Most people notice it in the spring. However, the twigs and bud structure are also striking which makes it easy to identify in the winter season. When you know what the plant is, please post both the common and scientific names in a comment. Also share any personal story you may have with this tree.
ANSWER (subsequently added to this post to facilitate the “search” function for these images): Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida)
Also, read the blog post and watch the plant portrait video for Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida).