Pruning - Flower Buds
The ability to identify flower buds is important in order to prevent the removal of too many. Flower buds are easily recognized by their shape. They are larger than leaf buds and are swollen near the base. In contrast, leaf buds are smaller and narrow. Apple and pear trees generally bear flower buds at the tips of spurs and short shoots. In contrast, stone fruit bear flower buds laterally along spurs and shoots. It is important not to prune off all these short shoots since they are the site of future flower buds.
Vigorous trees tend to have fewer flower buds than weaker trees. Avoid pruning off too many shoots that bear flower buds when pruning vigorous trees. Weak trees may have an overabundance of flower buds, and it may be beneficial to prune off many spurs to help invigorate the tree.