Tree ID by clustered buds

Buds are located at the end of stems (terminal buds) and along stems (lateral buds). Here are photos of stems with lateral or terminal buds that are formed in clusters. Some lateral buds develop as short shoots and grow leaves or flowers at the same point every year. These short shoots are called Spurs and are particularly obvious in cherries, blackthorn and plums. Oaks have lateral buds clustered around the terminal bud.

Tree ID by clustered buds. Click on any photo to enlarge it. Click on any NAME in red to learn more about the tree. To go back to the BUDS key click HERE



In Britain most tree growth occurs in spring and summer. During the growing season the tree produces buds ready for next years growth. These buds remain dormant during the winter and open in the following spring. Inside each bud are tiny preformed leaves, shoots or flowers. Terminal buds are formed at the end of the shoot. Lateral buds are formed at the junction of the leaf and shoot. Leaves and lateral buds are formed at particular points on the shoot called nodes. As the shoot grows in the summer, the terminal bud releases a hormone which prevents lateral buds forming. The concentration of this hormone is high at the tip but as the tip grows away it becomes low enough for lateral buds to form at a node. The tip then continues to grow until another node can grow and so on until growth ends for the year.