Sprouts  - Sprouts on the stem are a trees way of using reserve energy to survive.  When old trees, young trees, or branches produce many sprouts, it is a sign of over pruning or starvation.  Sprouts have similar characteristics as branches, yet, the sprout does not have a branch collar, usually weekly attached, and did not grow from a bud but rather a meristematic point.  There are different types of sprouts but they are all sprouts.  More on the topic:  Sprouts form when fuel reserves get low.  Meristematic points form spear-like points into the bark. The points can differentiate to form sprouts, flowers, or roots.  Other types of spear-like points go from the bark into the wood.  These are associated with a wood pattern called bird's eye.  The initiating factors must come from the bark.   Meristematic points are sheets of radial parenchyma that extend from the wood into the outer bark.  The points have the capacity to form sprouts, flowers, woody roots, and prop roots.  See Collars

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