London Plane Tree - Buds Set - November 2020

We had a storm come through last week that dropped all the remaining leaves - and I mean ALL - in the yard.  With the leaves off the limbs, I've started to investigate the structure of some of the trees and noticing that most of them have set buds before they head into dormancy.  The first tree that I looked at was our new (this year) London Plane Tree.  The brief history of the tree is that I bought this with some birthday money from Nat's Grampy in early Spring, planted in May and it was immediately stressed, it seemed to recover and full leaf out this Summer, only to return to a stressed-state during the late Summer heat.  

Below is a look at one of the limbs of this tree that shows off what are quite pointy buds:

The London Planetree buds you see above are almost thorn-like at this point, but based on what I see online, they'll continue to grow out and get a little bit 'bent' in the appearance of their tips.    It also says that the Plane Tree (or Maple-leafed Sycamore) buds-out at their "annular leaf scar" - which is (per Wikipedia) where "mark left by a leaf after it falls off the twig. It marks the site where the petiole attached to the stem."

That late Summer stress that I documented has me concerned for the health of this tree, but I'm taking these buds as a good sign that it has put some of the energy stored in the rootball into producing next year's early leaves.  I've been fooled before - with trees bud'ing out in the Fall only to NOT survive the following season.  

It included this quote about tree buds from nature writer (and Madman) Rutherford Platt that posited that tree buds are:

 “varied as jewelry, in all sorts of exquisite shapes and bright colors.”

That's kind of interesting to read, isn't it?  I guess I've never thought about buds being so varied before, but they sure are, aren't they?  Makes me think I need to do a series of 'Winter Tree Buds" posts as we head into Winter.  I've covered and shared photos of buds before (like this one of our Saucer Magnolia tree or these Frans Fontaine Columnar Hornbeam Buds from 2019), but organizing the trees we have by buds feels like a blog-worthy project.  


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