Identifying fruit buds
Fruit trees produce two types of buds:
- Fruit buds contain flowers that if pollinated will carry fruit. Growth buds will develop later on behind the developing fruit
- Wood or growth buds develop into a new shoot carrying carry leaves, but no flowers
By identifying which buds are which, you can avoid excessive removal of potentially fruiting wood and ensure a good crop.
By November a plump, round bud will have formed which carries the flowers in April and May. The bud scales on fruit buds are typically downy, especially on apples, pears, peaches and nectarines.
In summer, fruit buds are often 'supported' by a surrounding cluster of leaves, perhaps the rosette of a spur, or the tip of a shoot.
Wood or growth buds
Wood or growth buds (i.e. buds carrying leaves but no flowers) are easily distinguished from fruit buds by being slender, pointed buds borne in a leaf axil. These buds are usually much smaller and more insignificant than fruit buds.