ready and waiting
most trees and shrubs in our region form their buds in the summer or fall before they go dormant for the winter. most are leaf buds. inside, immature leaves are tightly packed, ready to unfold when the weather gets warm enough and the sap starts running. think of it as money in the bank for next spring. some species’ buds already hold all the leaves the tree will grow next season. others hold a first batch, with more leaves developing after the buds open. i always love seeing these hopeful signs of renewal on my gray winter walks.
winter branch with next spring’s buds