Virtual Museum of Canada
Jardin botanique de Montréal 
Centre for Forest Research

Send in the reinforcements!

Buds are not only essential to the tree's normal growth, but play a pivotal role when the tree is under attack. This is the role of dormant (adventitious) buds, which are activated when the tree needs them.

European scientists tested this characteristic by pruning all visible buds from a Kermes oak (a Mediterranean shrub). A few days later, activated adventitious buds had replaced their fallen comrades. Unfortunately, they too suffered the same fate at the hands of the researchers. This process continued at 15-day intervals. Despite such brutal treatment, however, the shrub survived for four years, proving that trees' resilience (Property of an ecosystem or another ecological unit to survive after a stress.) and their adventitious buds allow them to overcome the greatest challenges.


Photo of the young twig of a red ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) growing at the base of where a branch was cut off.
Fraxinus pennsylvanica
© Jardin botanique de Montréal (Lise Servant)
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