The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest Snow and Landscape Research WSL

Dormant buds

Larch life insurance

With dormant buds, the larch arms itself in case of a broken branch. In the event of crown damage, a tree has fewer needles and absorbs less vitally important CO2.

In old age, the trunk suddenly forms buds. Instead of producing tree rings, the growth layer (the cambium) develops dormant buds. In this larch, these dormant buds did not sprout, but if needed, they would have developed into branches.

Dormant buds, also called dormant eyes, are located under the bark and are hardly visible, if at all. There, they can remain viable for years or even decades. Their sole task is to restore lost organs (branches, twigs or even the entire trunk). In this way they protect the tree against the consequences of branch loss.