The score for this work consists solely of performance instructions. The instruments to be used are amplified pods, cacti, and other plant materials, such as pod rattles from a Poinciana tree, which Cage specifically mentions in the score. Other instruments are to be selected by the performers, using I-Ching chance operations. Cacti are played by plucking needles with toothpicks, amplifying their sounds via cartridge-like attachments, originally constructed by John D. Fullemann. Branches is essentially a series of variations of Cage’s Child of Tree, strung together on a string of silence, which precedes it in performance.