|When leaves fall off before winter
they leave leafscars on the twigs. The image at the right shows a
much-magnified part of a Pecan tree twig from near my trailer. Note the dark bundle
scars inside the leafscars. These scars result from the breaking of the pipe-like
vascular bundles passing from the twig into the leaf's petiole. Vascular
bundles consist of the plant's xylem and phloem,
described on our Inside Twigs Page.
As you can see, leafscars and buds vary tremendously from species to species. Therefore, during winter they are great help to backyard naturalists trying to identify tree species using twig characteristics. In the above image, notice these things:
You see? You really can identify woody species even after their leaves have fallen!