Last week, all the budscales were still clamped shut. Perhaps a few days like today will persuade them to relax just a little. I believe this understory tree is hop hornbeam, although it grows in a forest-edge thicket so entwined with blue beech trees that I'm not sure where one individual ends and another begins. I hope we get better acquainted this spring.
These bright red bud scales are hawthorn, given to showy displays no matter the season.