Winter is a perfect time to look at trees because you can see their “skeletons” without all those pesky leaves to distract you. Now you can take a closer look at the patterns in bark and how branches and twigs attach. And you can take a closer look at the buds on the sides and ends of twigs.
On some trees the twigs (and buds) are opposite each other, paired up. Maples, ash, dogwoods and buckeyes have opposite branching – and opposite buds.
Other trees have alternate branching. So the buds alternate along the twig.
What sort of tree buds do you find in your backyard?
If you’re looking for a good book to read about winter trees, go here.
The best field guide I’ve found for this season is the Winter Tree Finder by May T. Watts and Tom Watts.