Buds in Hedging Plants (and all others) produce new shoots and foliage and determine the plant’s growth. They are the key to successful hedge growing…
Buds in Hedging Plants are “undeveloped or embryonic shoots that normally occur in the axil of a leaf or at the tip of the stem. Once formed, they may remain dormant for some time or form a new shoot immediately. In addition, some buds are specialized and form flowers or short shoots while others produce standard shoots.” Buds come in four basic forms:
Terminal Buds in Hedging Plants
Terminal buds grow at the tip of a shoot and causes the shoot to grow longer.
Lateral Buds in Hedging Plants
Lateral buds grow along the sides of a shoot and develop into new lateral shoots to create a bushy effect. It is the management of these shoots that transform a shrub or tree into a hedge.
The distribution of lateral buds on a stem is described in the same way as are the resultant leaves: alternate, opposite, whorled or terminal.
Incidentally, a cabbage is actually an unusually large terminal bud, while Brussels sprouts are large lateral buds!
Latent Buds in Hedging Plants
Latent buds remain dormant under the bark. If your plant has been damaged, cut just above the latent bud and the bud may develop a replacement.
Adventitious Buds in Hedging Plants
In simple terms, adventitious buds are those that develop somewhere other than the end of a stem or in a leaf axil. They may appear when a stem or branch is damaged or pruned, in response to sudden climatic change or even on the roots.
A basic understanding of how buds form and grow is the basis of successful pruning. It is therefore also the basis of creating a hedge.