Your donation will support the student journalists of El Rancho High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.
Why evergreens rarely lose their needles
January 24, 2023
Most people know what evergreens are. They are traditionally used to celebrate winter festivals, and have been used for thousands of years. They also don’t lose their leaves every winter like other trees.
The scientific family, evergreens, are in the Pinaceae family. Evergreens can keep their needle leaves for 2-3 years. The leaves on evergreen trees, like pines, are called needles because of their resemblance to actual needles.
When evergreen trees start to lose their leaves, it isn’t all at once like other trees. Evergreen trees have an adaptation to low nutrition levels. In the winter, it is harder for most trees to get the nutrients from the soil, so they lose their leaves to save energy, but since evergreens have an adaptation to low nutrition levels, they are able to keep their leaves.
Another part that helps evergreen trees, like pines, not lose their needles is their size. In the winter, when it gets cold, since the evergreen’s needles are small, they have a smaller area to freeze or dry than many other trees.
All tree leaves have thousands of stomata, which are tiny little pores that take in Carbon dioxide and release oxygen. During the winter, they close in order to protect themselves from the extreme temperatures. On other trees, they simply shed their leaves instead of wasting energy to conserve their leaves, since resources are pretty hard to get for trees.
The needles’ smaller size also helps them lower their wind resistance. Unlike other tree leaves, which tend to be larger and flatter, the needles are way less likely to fall off during storms or windy conditions during the winter.