Pruning Anatomy 101

Prune your trees more effectively using this guide explaining the basic anatomy of a tree, so that your pruning will be tailored to the needs of your tree.

| October 2019

 tree-pruning

Pruning Anatomy 101

Before pruning, it’s necessary to understand the parts of the tree you’ll be working with.

When it comes to a tree’s branches, the terms twig, shoot, branch, and limb can be used interchangeably; however, twig and shoot usually refer to younger growth, whereas limb and branch refer to mature growth.

Bud Types

Buds are dynamic. They are growth points—undeveloped, embry­onic shoots that appear as little bumps along the branches. Buds can go dormant in the fall, withstand the adversity of cold, even frigid winters, and then come busting out in spring and perform on demand.



A bud will produce leaves, branches (with leaves), or flowers (which when pollinated yield fruit). This depends on what type of bud it is.

All fruit trees have two basic bud types: vegetative and flower/ fruit buds.






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