Evergreens & Pines

EvergreensIn botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season. In areas where there is a reason for being deciduous (e.g. a cold season or dry season), being evergreen is usually an adaptation to low nutrient levels. Deciduous trees lose nutrients whenever they lose their leaves. In warmer areas, species such as some pines and cypresses grow on poor soils and disturbed ground. In Rhododendron, a genus with many broadleaf evergreens, several species grow in mature forests but are usually found on highly acidic soil where the nutrients are less available to plants. In taiga or boreal forests, it is too cold for the organic matter in the soil to decay rapidly, so the nutrients in the soil are less easily available to plants, thus favouring evergreens.

Pines are trees in the genus Pinus in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.

A collection of Ponderora PinesPines are evergreen, resinous trees (or rarely shrubs) growing 3–80 m tall, with the majority of species reaching 15–45 m tall.The bark of most pines is thick and scaly, but some species have thin, flaking bark. The branches are produced in regular “pseudo whorls”, actually a very tight spiral but appearing like a ring of branches arising from the same point. Many pines are uninodal, producing just one such whorl of branches each year, from buds at the tip of the year’s new shoot, but others are multinodal, producing two or more whorls of branches per year. The spiral growth of branches, needles, and cone scales are arranged in Fibonacci number ratios. The new spring shoots are sometimes called “candles”; they are covered in brown or whitish bud scales and point upward at first, then later turn green and spread outward. These “candles” offer foresters a means to evaluate fertility of the soil and vigour of the trees.

Services that we offer for both Pines and Evergreens: