Water sprouts or water shoots are shoots that arise from the trunk of a tree or from branches that are several years old, from latent buds. The latent buds might be visible on the bark of the tree, or submerged under the bark as epicormic buds. They are sometimes called suckers, although that term is more correctly applied to shoots that arise from below ground, from the roots, and a distance from the trunk. Vigorous upright water sprouts often develop in response to damage or pruning.
The structure of water-sprout regrowth is not as strong as natural tree growth, and the shoots are more subject to diseases and pests. A system of principles of pruning considers this type of shoot undesirable on orchard trees because very little fruit is produced on them.
- Adventitiousness, shoots that develop in unusual places
- Apical dominance, dominance of the main central stem of a plant
- Basal shoots, also called suckers
- Coppicing, a method of woodland management
- Epicormic shoot, shoots that develop from buds under the bark
- Pollarding, a pruning system in which the upper branches of a tree are removed, which encourages watersprouts
- Hartmann, H.T.; Kester, D.E. 1983. Plant propagation: Principles and practices. Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs.
- Beentje, H.; Williamson, J. (2010). The Kew Plant Glossary: an Illustrated Dictionary of Plant Terms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Kew Publishing.
- C. A. Kaiser, M. L. Witt, J. R. Hartman, R. E. McNiel and W. C. Dunwell, 1988. Warning: Topping is hazardous to your tree's health. Journal of Arboriculture, 12(2):50–52
- Hall-Beyer, B.; Richard, J. 1983. Ecological Fruit Production in the North. Published by the authors.
- Michael Phillips 2005. The apple grower: a guide for the organic orchardist Chelsea Green Publishing in Google books
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