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Nature Notebook – Tree Buds

Tree buds demonstrate that nature is not a procrastinator.  Last summer, when the tree completed its growth for that year, it started preparing for the following year by producing new leaves and flowers.  Because these leaves and flowers wouldn’t be needed until spring, they were tightly folded and specialized scales grew over them.

The scales protect the bud from drying out during the winter.  As spring progresses, the buds swell and push the scales apart.  About half of the prepared buds will open; the others will remain as reserves.  If, after a year or two, a bud never opened, it will shrivel and fall off.

As you are walking in your yard (or your favorite nature center) take a closer look at these marvels of nature.