Story by Joanne K., Pitt County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer
Although the recent cold snap says winter, signs of spring are everywhere in eastern North Carolina as evidenced by the swelling buds of many trees and woody shrubs.
But you might wonder, what is a bud and how does it know to start growing?
A bud is an undeveloped shoot from which new leaves or flower parts arise.
In summer while the trees and shrubs are covered with leaves, next year's flower and leaf buds are already forming in the axil of the leaves (the small angle between the plant's stem and the leaf attachment).
Take a stroll around your yard and neighborhood to look closely at the trees and shrubs. Spend a few minutes along the Walking Trail in the Arboretum. You'll marvel at the early signs of life you'll see in the buds.
All pictures by Joanne K.