Because tree buds tend to swell and increase greatly in size in the spring, this is often the season when we first notice them and assume that this is when they are produced. However, if you look in the axils of leaves on any deciduous tree right now, you will see full-size buds that were formed this summer. These little packages of miniature leaves, branches and sometimes flowers, will remain on trees all winter, tightly closed and often protected from the elements by modified leaves called bud scales. Come spring, when trees are once again taking up quantities of water, their buds will swell, scales will fall off (leaving bud scale scars), and tiny, pristine leaves or flowers will appear. (Photo is of American beech, Fagus grandifolia, bud.)
Just a quick reminder that the NC Calendar ordering deadline is November 10th.
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