Buds are developing tissue at certain points on the tree which develop into new growth shoots and flowers.
The lateral and terminal bud development system of cherimoya differs from most other fruit species. When the tree is in full leaf no lateral buds in the leaf axils can be seen as theyre hidden, in various stages of development, under the enlarged base of the maturing leaf petiole. The subpetiolar buds cant grow until the old leaves drop in late spring, after which the lateral bud system can be seen. Removing old leaves early can encourage buds to begin growing. Each lateral bud can become either vegetative growth, flower buds or a combination of both.
Latent buds can arise along the trunk or develop from larger limbs, or sometimes from the rootstock, at no predictable location or apparent relationship to a leaf axil.
The same subpetiolar bud system appears on other Annona fruit trees like sweetsop (A.squamosa) and atemoya (A.squamosa x A.cherimola). This system differs from soursop (A.muricata) and custard apple (A.reticulata), which have bud systems visible in the leaf axil.
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