I have a project this quarter to study development of dormant almond vegetative buds. My previous dissection experience has entirely been in dissecting meristems for plant tissue culture (mostly herbaceous plants). I'm having trouble not just dealing with the differences in texture between bud scales and leaf primordia creating forces that can rip the softer structures apart, but I'm having difficulty seeing things well enough to count leaf primordia.

I'm at high risk for COVID19, so I'm not working in a lab, but with equipment in a travel trailer. I'm currently using a Zeiss SV8 with 10 MP camera and AmScope software. I'm using orthodontic wax in a Petri dish to help me hold the bud/stem still enough to work on.

If anyone has suggestions for working methods from previous experience dissecting and tracking development of tree vegetative buds, I'd love to hear them.