Coniferous Trees



What are Coniferous Trees?



Coniferous trees keep their leaves and then shed only the oldest leaves. The leaves that are dropped are well down the stem from the newly developing leaves.

Where can they grow well?

Conifers are the trees of the coldest and most forbidding regions. Only conifers are found north of about latitude 55 degrees. South of the Arctic tundra is the boreal coniferous forest. The conifers have made other adaptations to the harsh northern climate. Heavy loads of snow slide harmlessly to the ground as the supple branches bend. Conifers are sturdy, fast growing trees that have adapted to a variety of environmental conditions.

Towering redwoods grow as far south as Monterey, California. Large sections of sixteen eastern states and the Maritime Provinces are covered by the eastern species of conifers. In Europe a continuous swath of coniferous forest extends from England and Scandinavia almost 18 000 kilometers across Europe.

What kind of trees are they?

Coniferous trees can be small bushes or one-hundred meter high redwoods.

Coniferous trees grow up instead of out and are of a triangular shape. The leaves can be long, pointy needles, or  small, flat scales. Seeds grow in cones. There are three major groups of conifers -- firs, spruces and pines -- and they can be identified by their needles. The needles have a waxy coating that helps reduce moisture loss in cold weather. The narrow needles offer less surface area to the drying winds of winter. By keeping their leaves, conifers can quickly begin food production when the warm weather returns in the spring.  The firs have short needles with blunt tips. The spruces have four-sided needles that are very sharp. The pines have needles that grow in bunches, wrapped together at the base.

Go here for a list of most common-known Coniferous Trees:


Where to BUY TREES (just type in what tree you want to find information about or buy, and click on the picture to find price when you get to the link)


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This page was created by a student in the Landscaping class of University High school, 2003.

Last updated January 28, 2003.