Wow! Last months column on buds generated the most buzz yet since I started this column, so I decided to go another round. There are a few species duplicated here from last time because they can vary so much. This one may be a little more challenging and maybe a bit more obscure. All of the photos below were taken at the end of January. As usual, there is a key with comments at the end. Have fun.
A. Stewartia Monadelpha – This one always shows color in its buds early winter, and then holds on for a few months before it starts growing.
B. Beauty Berry – This one happens to be growing in the ground, so the internodes are a bit longer. I love fuzzy sprouts. Again, they sit here for quite awhile in winter before growing. C. Limber Pine – One of our native five-needle pines.
D. California Juniper – Those are water drops on the scales. With the juniper you don’t really see distinctive buds that you do on other trees. This is an important clue on how they grow.
Junipers elongate throughout the growing season, ramping up from spring on through fall. They lack the single strong push of pine or maple tree.
E. Douglas Hawthorne – Another one of our natives that you will see at our April program.
Also called a Black Hawthorne. This came from near the Idaho border. F. Shimpaku Juniper.
G. Honeysuckle – This tree never seems to go fully dormant in the winter, holding onto a few green leaves throughout. The buds emerge early and stay as if frozen in time, including an occasional blossom.
H. Japanese Maple – This one is the regular species.
I. Crabapple – Somehow I expect this vigorous grower to have larger buds, but they are almost hidden this time of year.
J. Flowering Plum – This tree is a red-flowered variety. It is very easy to see the difference be-tween the roundish flower buds and the small pointed leaf buds. K. English Hawthorne – This was my grandfather’s tree.
L. Indian Plum – Another local inhabitant and one of the early bloomers. The green emerged in December and it is just waiting for the right time to elongate.
M. Western Hemlock – The small buds of the hemlock show here.