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Essential Sprout

       Essential Stems or Sprouts are known to Arboriculture as epicormic sprouts and to the lay person, sucker, water sprouts, stress shoots and shoots. The Arborist at Olson Tree Care in Des Moines, Iowa has identified that none of those latter definitions properly are understandable or capture the meaning of Essential Sprouts and Stems. (They are an Essential Sprout when they first spring forth and then when they become woody they are an Essential Stem.)

Benefits of Essential Sprouts.

- Biomass replacer.

- Photosynthate producer.

- Structural wood developer.

- Uptake increaser.

- Cooling agent.

- Enhancer of wood environment functionality. (keeps fungal pathogens dormant.)

- Tree Retrenchment enabler.

- Branch replacer.

- Likelihood of failure reducer.

       It is painfully obvious to the Tree Care Arborist in Des Moines that epicormic sprout and the other terms do not convey this message.

“The term should readily explain the feature or situation to the layperson, with little scope for misinterpretation or confusion.”

(Duncan Slater PhD “Coming to Terms”)

Essential Stem best describes function and is easily understood by all.


- absolutely necessary; extremely important.


- the ascending axis of a plant, whether above or below ground, which ordinarily grows in an opposite direction to the root or descending axis.

- the stalk that supports a leaf, flower, or fruit.

- the main body of that portion of a tree, shrub, or other plant which is above ground; trunk; stalk.

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