LEAFSCARS

leafscar, bundle scars and bud of Pecan twigWhen 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.

Now just look at the variety of leafscars and buds in the picture below:

leafscars of black oak, fig, red buckeye, bitternut hickory, pawpaw, boxelder, sycamore & chinaberry

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!