What does fruiting wood look like on various fruits?

I am a new fruit grower (almost 2 years in) and I hear Tom Spellman quite often talk about fruiting wood. As a new fruit grower, I am curious as to what I am looking for to see if I do indeed have fruiting wood on my trees.

I took a few snapshots of my trees over the weekend. Here is the Craig’s Crimson cherry and an Enterprise apple. Do you see any fruiting wood in these photos?

Craig’s Crimson Cherry

Enterprise Apple

None on that cherry. It needs fat buds which can be on current growth but mostly on spurs. In cherry spurs form the second yr and flower in the third. On a mature tree there are some flowers on the base of last yrs wood.

Probably none on that apple either. I do see a spur but again don’t see any fat buds.

Do you happen to have any pictures of what I am to be looking for? I see some bumps on my peaches, but I am starting to wonder if my Methley is actually a plum (it is the only plum I currently have) as it doesn’t look like there is anything that would throw up a flower on that tree. Now, my Stark Sugarsweet pear has been growing gangbusters for me for 2 years now. It does look like it has some fat buds.

Methley plum (first leaf):

Stark Sugarsweet Pear:

Here’s some cherries with very old fruit spurs. Flower buds at tips and bare wood of last 4-5 yrs of flowering:

Here’s a picture of cherry buds on one and two yr old wood. New wood, above the L, has fat buds at base. Some of those are flower buds. The older wood below has fat buds on new spurs.

Flower buds on peach. Outside two are flower center vegetative:

Flower buds on apricot:


I don’t see flower buds on your plum. The pear does have some buds that might be flowers. It’s harder to tell on apple and pear than on stone fruit.

Awesome pictures…thanks a ton. That really helps. Now I know what I am looking for.

You know, my peach buds are not as pronounced as yours. These are on peach trees that flowered last year and produced a few fruit as well.

Red Globe Peach

If your Redglobe had fruit this yr it should flower next yr. I don’t see many obvious flower buds in your pic, it’s hard getting a good pic. That’s mostly older wood. The flower buds on peach are only on this yrs growth. That can include short stems on older wood that almost look like spurs. Sort of like that small stem down low

How does flower bud look on a hybrid cherry plum tree.

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I’m not sure what you’re referring to for sure. But they all look about the same. Peach, nectarine, and sweet cherry have bigger flower buds than apricot, plum, or pluot. But the location and arrangement aren’t much different.

I was looking for flower bud formation on Kuban Comet which is a hybrid (Japanese & Cherry) plum. Didn’t see anything on that tree. I look at Hollywood plum and it seems like it’s developing the flower buds (pictures). Do they look like flower bud?

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Where there’s three buds at a leaf axil, the outer two are flower buds. The inner is a vegetative bud. I think all the stone fruit have that. There will also be some flower buds elsewhere.


Here’s my Oregon Curlfree peach, I believe showing what you’re talking about:


so am I understanding correctly, on my Italian plum.

these are fruiting buds

and these are vegetative?

I’m trying to see if there’s fruiting wood i can see on the tree for next year. it produced in 2022 but not this year.

If there’s one bud in the leaf axil it’s likely vegetative. Many of yours look like three buds. On stone fruit the flower buds should be pretty obvious by now.

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this is as obvious as they get right now. I take it at least some will blossom, which is good. 2022 was its first year in bloom/fruiting.

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Flavor Delight Aprium that didn’t get any pruning this year.

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the Virginia tech paper on peach pruning tells there can be one flower bud and leaf bud. But most are Flower-Leaf-Flower.

Each node (the point on the shoot where a leaf is attached) on a vegetative shoot may have from zero to 3 buds. Nodes at the terminal end of a shoot usually have single buds. The small, pointed buds are vegetative and the larger, rounder, and more hairy buds are flower buds. Many of the nodes on the lower two-thirds of a shoot have 2 or 3 buds arranged side by side. There can be any combination of flower (F) and leaf (L) buds (FL, FF, FLF, FFF), but most often a leaf bud is flanked by flower buds (FLF).

Really good paper explaining some behavior of peach tree. for example sun requiremnt fruit density etc.


so if I see two or three on this plum tree, it’s like to be one is a flower?

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