Green branches growing in the middle of the trunk of red leaves tree

(Question)

Hello. I have a red leafed tree in my front yard . I don’t know the name of the tree. It was there when I bought the house. For the last few years there are few green leafed branches growing from the middle of the tree . I keep cutting them when they come out and then they don’t grow any more in the same year. I looked around and I noticed that the leaves on the green branches are from my neighbour’s bush. This is very strange and I asked in the local nursery but they could not give any suggestions.
This tree had 1 cherry like fruit last year. It was sweet. I wonder what type of tree this is.  Also this tree had considerable damage 2 years ago during an ice storm and still did not recover. I am not sure if the tree could recover to its full size again.
Your answer is very appreciated. Thank you. The picture is attached.green sticks

(Answer)

Thank you for contacting Ask  Master Gardener with  you intriguing question. Your red-leaf tree is likely a Purple Leaf Sandcherry (Prunus x cistena).

The green branches from your neighbour’s bush appear to have grown into the bed with your tree, along with a number of other plants. For aesthetic reasons along with the improved health of your tree, all this extra plant material should be dug out, roots and all, and disposed of in your compost or the municipal garden waste.

All of the storm damaged branches can then pruned out of your tree cutting back to healthy growth. Apply several inches of mulch: compost, composted pine bark, or composted manure, under your tree but keep it about two inches (5 cm) from the trunk. The mulch will provide two benefits: keeping the soil from drying out as well as slowly feeding your tree. Water your tree when there has been no rain.

Once the dead material is removed from the tree, the extra plant material totally removed from the bed, nutritious mulch added and watered in, your tree will have an opportunity to recover. We wish you good luck.