When I came across this notched branch towards the end of last month I thought that someone must have taken a jacknife and cut, or notched it; for it seemed to have a rawness around the cut below the bud. But then, when examining the branch closer I noticed that other parts of the branch showed the same 'cut-like' appearance Then seeing that all the branches had the same back to back,'notched' patterns, I knew that I had stumbled upon, yet again, another of Nature's unique, fascinating designs.
I guess then these branches would perhaps be part of a bush, or a shrub? There is no main trunk so I don't think I could call it a tree. The snow covering is too deep as yet to examine their base but there are many branches, all of uniform size, and they appear to grow near the ground, in a clump. And they are taller than me. Perhaps I will discover that these are the commonest of shubberies and I had just never noticed them before. But no matter of its commonality; I think they are outstanding and would really appreciate any comments anyone might have to share as to its identification.
Editing note: identification update: March 16th
I received an email this morning identifying these notched branches as those of an Acer negundo, a Boxelder. A photo here looks the same as the ones which I had posted. This photo originates from the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity at the University of Wisconsin.
It was also pointed out that the part of the stem, or branch that appears to be cut, or notched is where the end of last year's leaf was.
Thank you Dave M. for your input. It is much appreciated.