The elongation of shoots comes from the dome shaped apical meristem.  The apical meristem gives rise to protoderm, procambium, and ground meristem, which in turn gives rise to the three tissue types.  Leaf primordia arise from the sides of the apical dome, and ancillary buds arise from residual islands of meristematic cells at the base of leaf primordia.  Within a bud, nodes with leaf primordia, are crowded close together due to very short internodes.  Most of the actual elongation of a shoot happens in the older internodes below the shoot apex.  The growth results from cell elongation and cell division within these internodes.

Axillary buds have the potential to form branches of the shoot system at anytime from the surface of a main shoot.
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