Today evergreen trees are quite prominent providing the landscapes around us; a much-needed refreshing look, especially during the winter months. However, the most important question that comes to mind is how to identify evergreen trees.
Generally, the trees shed their all their leaves and become brown, as a form of protection against the harsh conditions of winter. Trees which remain green throughout the year i.e. all the leaves never fall off these, even during winters, are called evergreen trees. Identification of evergreen trees is easy, as trees which do not shed their leaves during winters can be called evergreen. But this is one of the methods of identifying evergreen trees and there are other methods of identifying them, too. Most conifer trees are evergreen, the only exceptions being the Tamarack as they shed their leaves every fall. As the leaves grow old, evergreen trees shed their leaves occasionally throughout the year. These trees can make food throughout the year, be it summers or winters.
Identification of Evergreen Trees
The most important question that comes to our mind when thinking of evergreen trees is how to identify them. Some of the most common evergreen trees are Northern white cedar, Eastern Red Cedar and Balsam Fir. Let us look at all these in detail.
Northern White Cedar
Northern white cedars can be easily identified due to its scale-like leaves and small flat branches. Moreover, the leaves and branches are closely pressed together making the leaves and branches look like a thick bush. A pleasant aromatic smell is emitted if you crush the leaves between your figures. This tree is an excellent ornamental plant and if you plant them around your house, it can act as a natural fence due to its thick foliage and branches.
The fruit or cone is small and oval, of about ½ inches in length. They are yellowish-brown in color and have 6-12 scales usually growing in clusters or alone. These trees have thin barks which are reddish-brown or gray in color and they grow in narrow, vertical and long strips. The soft, light and brittle wood can be used for building shingles, rot-resistant lumber and fence posts.
Eastern Red Cedar
This tree is round in shape and has two kinds of leaves. Some leaves are dark green and look like scales (usually the older leaves) while others are new leaves and shoots which are light green in color. The ends of the leaves are sharply pointed and are white in color on the underneath. Similar to Northern white cedar, the bark has reddish-brown strips. This tree can grow to more than 30 feet in height and grows best in dry, gravelly soil and are mostly found in abandoned fields.
In balsam fir, the cones are purple-green in color and grows to about four inches long. Once the seeds in the cone mature and ripen they fall off leaving behind a pencil-like center which stands on the branch just like a spike. These trees are medium-sized with and the trunk diameter is about one to two feet. The bark is grayish, smooth and thin, and is filled with balsam pitch or resin. The leaves are in the form of needles and flat, a characteristic feature of this tree. The top of the leaves are dark green while the underneath is silvery-white.
Thus, evergreen tree identification is easy and you only need to look for some key features of these plants to recognize them. I hope you would be able to identify evergreen trees the next time you see them.