- What “Pine” Trees Lose Their Needles in Winter?
- Which “Pine” Trees Lose Their Needles in Winter (And Evergreen Trees That Don’t Drop Needles)
- My Pine Tree is Losing its Needles
- Tamarack: A different kind of pine tree
- My Evergreen Is Losing Its Needles! Is That Normal?
- How can I tell if it’s normal autumn needle drop or something worse?
- Does weather affect needle loss in conifers?
- Is fall needle drop worse in some kinds of trees?
- Do all conifers lose needles in fall?
- The Bottom Line on Conifer Needle Loss
- Seasonal needle drop
What “Pine” Trees Lose Their Needles in Winter?
Across the world, there are more than 100 species of needle-bearing trees. Some sport long, smooth needles while others are short and prickly. Some radiate their emerald green while others flaunt a more mellow blue.
It doesn’t stop at looks–some of those trees even grow differently. In true evergreen form, most hold onto their needles all year, while others completely shed their needles in winter.
If your needle-bearing trees lose all their needles in winter, they aren’t in danger. They’re just like the other trees we watch transition in fall. Learn which trees drop their needles, and find a new, true evergreen if you need one!
Which “Pine” Trees Lose Their Needles in Winter (And Evergreen Trees That Don’t Drop Needles)
All trees with needles will eventually shed some needles. As the trees age, older needles on the inside of the tree brown and drop off to make room for new needles. This happens to a portion of the tree’s needles every year.
But there is a small group of needle-bearing trees, called deciduous conifers, that drop all their needles every year. So if you think you have a pine tree, but it drops all its needles every winter. It’s actually one of the below trees!
What conifer trees lose their needles in winter?
There are about 20 deciduous conifers, which make them quite rare!
Here are the most popular ones:
Larch trees, including European larch, tamarack larch and western larch
Dawn redwood trees
When do deciduous conifer needles stop falling?
Just like our favorite maples or oaks, conifers that lose all their needles start by changing to golden and bronze shades in the fall. Then, they begin shedding needles in fall and are bare by winter.
What pine trees don’t shed needles?
True pines won’t get rid of their needles because they’re evergreen!
White pine tree
Jack pine tree
Sugar pine tree
Red pine tree
Pitch pine tree
Swiss Stone pine tree
Loblolly pine tree
Short and longleaf pine tree
Remember–pines that hang onto their needles can still brown from time to time. When that happens, it may be a sign your tree needs your help!
My Pine Tree is Losing its Needles
Have many of the needles on your pine tree have been dropping off lately?
Don’t worry and don’t cut the tree down! There is a perfectly natural explanation.
Though pines and most other conifers are called evergreens, their needles do not stay alive and green forever. Generally, new needles are produced every spring and summer and last for two to four or more years. So, as the tree grows larger year-by-year, newer needles are always at branch ends and older needles are farther back in the crown.
As needles age, they become less efficient at producing food for the tree. They also become more shaded by newer needles. For these reasons, old needles finally turn brown and drop off. This doesn’t hurt the tree because several year’s worth of newer needles are always there to replace the old ones.
Do be concerned, however, if your tree is losing needles at the branch tips. These needles are young and have not out-lived their usefulness. The culprit is probably some type of disease or insect.
So, if one-third to one-fourth of the needles on the inner parts of your evergreen tree are falling off, it is probably just a normal sign of aging. Just rake up the dead needles, or better yet, leave them under the tree for a good mulch.
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For all the benefits pine trees can offer, they also suffer from their share of problems.
One of the most common and most vexing is when your pine tree starts losing its needles.
When this happens, it can spell the death of the tree.
Unlike the leaves on deciduous trees, pine trees never regrow their needles. If the tree loses too many, it won’t be able to survive.
Therefore, it’s important to spot and treat problems before they prove fatal to your tree.
Here are some of the common reasons that pines lose their needles, and what you can do to prevent them, or reverse their effects.
Photo by Joseph O’Brien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org, via Wikimedia Commons
What is it? Dothistroma needle blight and diplodia tip blight (also known as Sphaeropsis blight) are caused by certain fungi.
When infected, the tree will show less vigorous needle development and yellowing or browning of newer needles.
When it gets into a wound on the trunk, it can also cause girdling.
The fungi that cause these diseases prefers wet, cool springtime conditions and takes advantage of injured trees.
What to do: Restrict pruning to the winter when the fungus isn’t present.
Regular and thorough watering will help the tree be more resistant to problems.
If infection should occur, using a strong fungicide is recommended.
Part of Austrian Pine with pine wilt. Photo viaCC Wikimedia commons
What is it? This fatal condition is caused by a certain roundworm species called the pine wilt nematode.
This tiny, destructive worm eats the pine tree’s cells, causing it to wilt from an inability to transport water and nutrients.
However, this nematode isn’t like the others.
Unlike most of its soil-dwelling brethren, the pine wilt nematode infects the upper parts of the tree.
What to do: Once a tree is infected with these pests, they can be spread to nearby healthy trees.
Any tree with pine wilt should be removed and burned.
If you really want to save the tree, nematicides are available, but they are expensive.
Pine Bark Beetle
Bark beetle larva labrynths, via Wikimedia Commons
What is it? These insects tend to infest ailing pine trees and aren’t picky about which pine species they exploit.
These destructive pests burrow into the bark, hindering the tree’s ability to transport nourishment and water.
There are multiple species of pine bark beetle, but they all affect pines the same way.
What to do: Check the bark for squiggly lines, check the needles for browning, shedding and inspect the branches for signs of death.
Keeping pines watered and fed properly will help them resist infection and degradation.
Infected pines should be removed and burned to prevent additional infestations.
Phytophthora Root Rot
The tree on the right is infected with Phytophthora cinnamomi, the tree on the left shows no symptoms of infection. Photo by Jeffrey J. Witcosky, USDA Forest Servicevia Wikimedia Commons
What is it? This soil-borne fungus tends to infect pine trees, harming or killing them in the process.
Although this fungus lives in the soil, the symptoms are presented on the above-ground portions.
Signs of an infection include reduced growth, reddening or browning needles, dying branches, falling needles and eventually, death.
What to do: The fungus is common in soil with poor drainage, wet soil and warm temperatures.
It can be prevented by planting your trees in well-drained locations.
Professional soil tests from your local tree care company or university agricultural extension can tell you if this fungus is present in your soil.
If infection occurs, commercial fungicides are often helpful.
Tamarack: A different kind of pine tree
Have you ever driven around the Poconos in late autumn and early winter and noticed evergreens that appear to be dead or dying? I’m not referring to the normal autumn shedding of some needles, but rather to trees covered with gold to rust-colored needles, or nearly bare, with only the skeleton of trunk and branches remaining.
Have you ever driven around the Poconos in late autumn and early winter and noticed evergreens that appear to be dead or dying? I’m not referring to the normal autumn shedding of some needles, but rather to trees covered with gold to rust-colored needles, or nearly bare, with only the skeleton of trunk and branches remaining.
Have you ever wondered what could be causing the trees to die? Or wondered why they hadn’t been removed? Surely, these are trees only Charlie Brown could appreciate.
The next time you spot such a tree, take notice of its immediate environment. If the area is wet or boggy, it might be a clue that you are looking at the deciduous tamarack.
Tamarack (Larix laricina), also known as American larch, is a very unique member of the pine family — one that loses its needles in fall. Only one other conifer shares this deciduous nature — the bald cypress.
Tamarack is native to Pennsylvania and can be found in much of the Northeastern United States and Canada. Habitats where tamaracks thrive include boreal forests, bogs and muskegs. This native tree is ideally suited to wet, poorly drained sphagnum bogs, withstands high soil moisture and high acidity, and is cold-hardy. Introduced varieties, such as European larch (L. decidua) and Japanese larch (L. leptolepis or L. kaempferi), can also be found in the Pennsylvania landscape.
Tamarack has a narrow trunk that is covered with thin, gray bark on younger trees and red-brown, scaly bark on older trees. The tree reaches heights of 50 to 75 feet, is conical-shaped, and has a somewhat open and sparse growth habit.
Small, egg-shaped cones (about ¾ inches long) are prevalent on the tamarack; the older trees (50 to 150 years old) are the most prolific cone-bearers. Seeds are contained in the cones, but in the wild, germination rates are low. This is often due to the consumption of seeds by rodents, or to bacteria and fungus that render the seed less viable. In addition to being eaten by mice, shrews and voles the seeds are also a favorite of crossbills. Birds may use the tamarack for both nesting and as a food source.
Without question, it is the needlelike leaves that draw most of the attention, and that demonstrate the unique deciduous nature of this conifer.
In spring, the needles appear in soft blue-green tufts or clusters that deepen in color during the summer. In autumn, the needles turn a striking yellow-gold before being shed.
And just because the tamarack loses its leaves in autumn does not mean that this tree lacks four-season appeal. In winter, the stark structure of the tamarack, especially when the branches and cones are dusted with snow, can provide unexpected beauty.
If your landscape provides the challenge of a wet or boggy area, you just might find a solution in the native tamarack. If you are not fortunate enough to have such a unique environment, and the American larch is not adaptable to your landscape needs, you might consider one of the other varieties of tamarack. Cultivated dwarf or weeping varieties are also available, and are more suitable for container plantings or inclusion in smaller yards.
Whichever the choice, once you have witnessed the tamarack in all seasons, you are bound to agree that this is surely no Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
For information about tamarack or other conifers, contact the Master Gardeners at the Monroe County Penn State Extension Office by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (570) 421-6430.
Web resources: USDA Forest Service, www.fs.fed.us; USDA Plant database factsheet, http://plants.usda.gov
My Evergreen Is Losing Its Needles! Is That Normal?
As fall approaches, we’re used to seeing trees like maples and oaks change color and the leaves falling to the ground, blanketing your yard. But what if you notice evergreen needles (from trees like pine, spruce, fir, yew or arborvitae) on the ground as well? What do yellowing and dropping needles mean for your conifers?
Don’t panic. Most conifers do lose needles in the fall, just like deciduous trees lose their leaves. Although these trees are usually referred to as “evergreen” trees, that doesn’t mean all needles on the tree stay perpetually green. Some will yellow, die, and fall off the tree.
However, unlike deciduous trees that lose all of their leaves at once, healthy evergreens always have some needles on the tree, retaining their overall green appearance even throughout winter.
How can I tell if it’s normal autumn needle drop or something worse?
While some fall needle loss is normal, there are instances where needle loss can signal a pest issue or disease that needs professional attention.
First, check which needles are turning yellow and being dropped. If they are the older needles on the inside parts of your conifer tree, and the yellowing is spread evenly from top to bottom, then the tree is fine. It’s normal for your tree to lose some of the previous years’ needles during the fall months.
However, if the newer needles at the tips of the branches are turning brown and dropping, or if needle loss is happening at other times of year, then your tree might need to be inspected by an arborist to determine what’s wrong.
The other thing to look for is whether your tree still appears green from a distance. If it does, that’s a good sign. But if you notice patches that are brown or orange or that are missing needles, that may be a cause for concern.
White pines can turn dramatically yellow in fall. Even this much yellowing is normal.
Image by Steven Katovich, Bugwood.org
Does weather affect needle loss in conifers?
Drought and heat stress can affect your conifer’s needles, turning them brown and making them drop prematurely. These conditions can also make fall needle drop more obvious; trees under stress will drop more needles.
Make sure that your tree is getting enough water if there has been a drought or prolonged period of hot weather.
Is fall needle drop worse in some kinds of trees?
The fall loss of needles is usually more obvious on mature white pines than on other conifers. Often, the whole tree can look yellow. White pines only retain the current year’s needles while shedding the previous two years of growth (so there are more yellow than green needles on the tree). It may look alarming but it’s perfectly normal.
Do all conifers lose needles in fall?
All of the above information is applicable to conifers such as pine, spruce, and fir. There are a few types of conifers, however, that lose all of their needles each fall.
Conifers get their name because they have cones (for instance, a pinecone on a pine tree). Not all conifers are evergreen, however. Some are deciduous, which means that they lose their needles in the fall, just like maple and oak trees lose their leaves.
Native to China, Metasequoia glyptostroboides, or Dawn Redwood tree, grows quite well here in eastern Pennsylvania or New Jersey (it’s hardy up to zone 5). It grows quickly, reaching heights of up to 90 feet. If you want to see some in person, you can visit three in Central Park in New York City, in a section called Strawberry Fields that was dedicated to John Lennon. The three dawn redwood trees symbolize eternal renewal because of their needle drop – they lose their needles each fall and then regrow them each spring.
Dawn redwood needles stay green throughout the growing season but drop in fall
Larch (also called tamarack)
European larch is commonly planted in the northeastern United States, and its needles turn a bright yellow before dropping every year.
American larch, also called tamarack, is another variety, and has the same bright yellow needle drop every fall. Tamarack does not do well in shade, and its thin bark makes it highly flammable.
Larch needles turn a gorgeous yellow in autumn before dropping from the tree
Native to the southeastern USA and typically found in swampy areas, bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) is remarkably hardy (up to zone 4) and tolerant of a range of soil conditions (including dry conditions).
They also drop their needles (usually in winter) and grow them again in spring.
Bald cypress needles display a rainbow of colors in autumn
The Bottom Line on Conifer Needle Loss
Overall, yellowing or browning and dropping needles in the fall is a normal part of a conifer’s growth cycle. Enjoy them as part of the changing of the seasons.
Be sure to note, though, if large sections of needles are changing color or dropping during other parts of the year.
You can always contact Organic Plant Care in Flemington, NJ to schedule a tree consultation. Our ISA Certified Arborists can determine if your conifers are healthy and come up with a plan to keep them that way.
Seasonal needle drop
Every year, evergreens experience a seasonal needle drop that is a normal part of the plant’s cycle. Needles of conifers have varying life spans and do not remain attached indefinitely to the tree. Many evergreen needles, as they age, will turn yellow, then brown, and drop off after one to several years. The change can be gradual, or, with some species, quite rapid. Seasonal needle drop can cause concern to homeowners who are not familiar with this natural occurrence. In times of drought, needle browning may be particularly noticeable, because more needles are shed in response to environmental stress. White pines show the most dramatic needle drop change.
Their annual loss of needles can be especially alarming on mature white pines, as the number of yellow needles outnumbers the current season’s green growth. Typically, white pines will retain needles for three years, but in autumn, 2-or-3-year-old needles will change color and drop, leaving only the current season’s growth still attached. Austrian and Scots pines usually retain their needles for three years. Red pine drops its needles in the fourth year. Spruce and fir needles also turn yellow and drop, but the change is usually less noticeable because their older needles are thinned progressively, making the process more gradual than in pines.
Arborvitae sheds branchlets rather than needles which usually turn brown as they age, yet remain on the tree for quite some time before falling. Yew needles turn yellow and drop in late spring or early summer of their third year. Check your plants regularly. If the current season’s growth is discolored or wilted, the tree may be suffering from a more serious disease or insect problem and should be diagnosed to determine if control is warranted.
There is no control required. As long as needle drop is restricted to older growth and is not excessive, the “problem” is simply seasonal needle drop, a normal and natural process. Always follow good cultural practices to keep trees healthy.
Synonyms: coniferous tree Types: show 135 types… hide 135 types… pine, pine tree, true pine a coniferous tree larch, larch tree any of numerous conifers of the genus Larix all having deciduous needlelike leaves Pseudolarix amabilis, golden larch Chinese deciduous conifer resembling a larch with golden yellow leaves fir, fir tree, true fir any of various evergreen trees of the genus Abies; chiefly of upland areas cedar, cedar tree, true cedar any cedar of the genus Cedrus spruce any coniferous tree of the genus Picea hemlock, hemlock tree an evergreen tree douglas fir tall evergreen timber tree of western North America having resinous wood and short needles Cathaya Chinese evergreen conifer discovered in 1955; not yet cultivated elsewhere cedar, cedar tree any of numerous trees of the family Cupressaceae that resemble cedars cypress, cypress tree any of numerous evergreen conifers of the genus Cupressus of north temperate regions having dark scalelike leaves and rounded cones Athrotaxis selaginoides, King William pine evergreen of Tasmanian mountains having sharp-pointed leaves that curve inward Metasequoia glyptostrodoides, dawn redwood, metasequoia large fast-growing Chinese monoecious tree having flat bright-green deciduous leaves and small globular cones; commonly cultivated in United States as an ornamental; known as a fossil before being discovered in China arborvitae any of several Asian and North American conifers of the genera Thuja and Thujopsis keteleeria Asiatic conifers resembling firs Wollemi pine newly discovered (1994) pine thought to have been long extinct; Australia; genus and species names not yet assigned araucaria any of several tall South American or Australian trees with large cones and edible seeds dammar pine, kauri pine any of various trees of the genus Agathis; yield dammar resin plum-yew any of several evergreen trees and shrubs of eastern Asia resembling yew and having large seeds enclosed in a fleshy envelope; sometimes cultivated as ornamentals celery pine Australasian evergreen conifer having a graceful head of foliage resembling celery that is composed of phyllodes borne in the axils of scalelike leaves podocarp any evergreen in the southern hemisphere of the genus Podocarpus having a pulpy fruit with one hard seed Podocarpus coriaceus, yacca, yacca podocarp West Indian evergreen with medium to long leaves Podocarpus elatus, Rockingham podocarp, brown pine large Australian tree with straight-grained yellow wood that turns brown on exposure African yellowwood, Podocarpus elongatus, cape yellowwood South African tree or shrub having a rounded crown Podocarpus totara, totara valuable timber tree of New Zealand yielding hard reddish wood used for furniture and bridges and wharves Dacrycarpus dacrydioides, New Zealand Dacryberry, New Zealand white pine, Podocarpus dacrydioides, kahikatea New Zealand evergreen valued for its light easily worked wood Dacrydium cupressinum, imou pine, red pine, rimu tall New Zealand timber tree Dacrydium colensoi, tar-wood, tarwood New Zealand silver pine of conical habit with long slender flexuous branches; adapted to cold wet summers and high altitudes Falcatifolium falciforme, common sickle pine small tropical rain forest tree of Indonesia and Malaysia Falcatifolium taxoides, yellow-leaf sickle pine a rain forest tree or shrub of New Caledonia having a conic crown and pale green sickle-shaped leaves; host species for the rare parasite yew Dacrydium bidwilli, Halocarpus bidwilli, New Zealand mountain pine, tar-wood, tarwood New Zealand shrub Lagarostrobus colensoi, silver pine, westland pine timber tree of New Zealand having shiny white wood Dacrydium franklinii, Lagarostrobus franklinii, huon pine Tasmanian timber tree with yellow aromatic wavy-grained wood used for carving and ship building; sometimes placed in genus Dacrydium Nageia nagi, nagi medium-sized tree having glossy lanceolate leaves; southern China to Taiwan and southern Japan Podocarpus ferruginea, Prumnopitys ferruginea, black pine, miro New Zealand conifer used for lumber; the dark wood is used for interior carpentry Podocarpus spicata, Prumnopitys taxifolia, black pine, matai conifer of Australia and New Zealand Prumnopitys andina, Prumnopitys elegans, plum-fruited yew South American evergreen tree or shrub Prince Albert yew, Prince Albert’s yew, Saxe-gothea conspicua small yew having attractive foliage and partially weeping branches cultivated as an ornamental; mountains of southern Chile Podocarpus amara, Prumnopitys amara, Sundacarpus amara a large fast-growing monoecious tropical evergreen tree having large glossy lanceolate leaves; of rain forests of Sumatra and Philippines to northern Queensland Japanese umbrella pine, Sciadopitys verticillata tall evergreen having a symmetrical spreading crown and needles growing in whorls that resemble umbrellas at ends of twigs yew any of numerous evergreen trees or shrubs having red cup-shaped berries and flattened needlelike leaves pinon, pinyon any of several low-growing pines of western North America Pinus glabra, spruce pine large two-needled pine of southeastern United States with light soft wood Pinus nigra, black pine large two-needled timber pine of southeastern Europe Pinus rigida, northern pitch pine, pitch pine large three-needled pine of the eastern United States and southeastern Canada; closely related to the pond pine Pinus serotina, pond pine large three-needled pine of sandy swamps of southeastern United States; needles longer than those of the northern pitch pine European nut pine, Pinus pinea, stone pine, umbrella pine medium-sized two-needled pine of southern Europe having a spreading crown; widely cultivated for its sweet seeds that resemble almonds Pinus cembra, Swiss pine, Swiss stone pine, arolla pine, cembra nut tree large five-needled European pine; yields cembra nuts and a resinous exudate Pinus mugo, Swiss mountain pine, dwarf mountain pine, mountain pine, mugho pine, mugo pine low shrubby pine of central Europe with short bright green needles in bunches of two Pinus longaeva, ancient pine small slow-growing pine of western United States similar to the bristlecone pine; chocolate brown bark in plates and short needles in bunches of 5; crown conic but becoming rough and twisted; oldest plant in the world growing to 5000 years in cold semidesert mountain tops white pine any of several five-needled pines with white wood and smooth usually light grey bark when young; especially the eastern white pine yellow pine any of various pines having yellow wood Jeffrey pine, Jeffrey’s pine, Pinus jeffreyi, black pine tall symmetrical pine of western North America having long blue-green needles in bunches of 3 and elongated cones on spreading somewhat pendulous branches; sometimes classified as a variety of ponderosa pine Pinus contorta, lodgepole, lodgepole pine, shore pine, spruce pine shrubby two-needled pine of coastal northwestern United States; red to yellow-brown bark fissured into small squares Pinus contorta murrayana, Sierra lodgepole pine tall subspecies of lodgepole pine Pinus taeda, frankincense pine, loblolly pine tall spreading three-needled pine of southeastern United States having reddish-brown fissured bark and a full bushy upper head Pinus banksiana, jack pine slender medium-sized two-needled pine of eastern North America; with yellow-green needles and scaly grey to red-brown fissured bark swamp pine any of several pines that prefer or endure moist situations such as loblolly pine or longleaf pine Canadian red pine, Pinus resinosa, red pine pine of eastern North America having long needles in bunches of two and reddish bark Pinus sylvestris, Scotch fir, Scotch pine, Scots pine medium large two-needled pine of northern Europe and Asia having flaking red-brown bark Jersey pine, Pinus virginiana, Virginia pine, scrub pine common small shrubby pine of the eastern United States having straggling often twisted or branches and short needles in bunches of 2 Monterey pine, Pinus radiata tall California pine with long needles in bunches of 3, a dense crown, and dark brown deeply fissured bark Pinus aristata, Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine, bristlecone pine small slow-growing upland pine of western United States (Rocky Mountains) having dense branches with fissured rust-brown bark and short needles in bunches of 5 and thorn-tipped cone scales; among the oldest living things some over 4500 years old Pinus pungens, hickory pine, prickly pine, table-mountain pine a small two-needled upland pine of the eastern United States (Appalachians) having dark brown flaking bark and thorn-tipped cone scales Pinus attenuata, knobcone pine medium-sized three-needled pine of the Pacific coast of the United States having a prominent knob on each scale of the cone Japanese red pine, Japanese table pine, Pinus densiflora pine native to Japan and Korea having a wide-spreading irregular crown when mature; grown as an ornamental Japanese black pine, Pinus thunbergii, black pine large Japanese ornamental having long needles in bunches of 2; widely planted in United States because of its resistance to salt and smog Pinus torreyana, Torrey pine, Torrey’s pine, grey-leaf pine, sabine pine, soledad pine medium-sized five-needled pine of southwestern California having long cylindrical cones American larch, Larix laricina, black larch, tamarack medium-sized larch of Canada and northern United States including Alaska having a broad conic crown and rust-brown scaly bark Larix occidentalis, Oregon larch, western larch, western tamarack tall larch of western North America have pale green sharply pointed leaves and oblong cones; an important timber tree Larix lyallii, subalpine larch medium-sized larch of the Rocky Mountains; closely related to Larix occidentalis European larch, Larix decidua tall European tree having a slender conic crown, flat needlelike leaves, and hairy cone scales Larix russica, Larix siberica, Siberian larch medium-sized larch of northeastern Russia and Siberia having narrowly conic crown and soft narrow bright-green leaves; used in cultivation silver fir any of various true firs having leaves white or silvery white beneath Abies bracteata, Abies venusta, Santa Lucia fir, bristlecone fir a pyramidal fir of southwestern California having spiny pointed leaves and cone scales with long spines Cedrus libani, cedar of Lebanon cedar of Lebanon and northwestern Syria that attains great age and height Cedrus deodara, Himalayan cedar, deodar, deodar cedar tall East Indian cedar having spreading branches with nodding tips; highly valued for its appearance as well as its timber Atlas cedar, Cedrus atlantica tall Algerian evergreen of Atlas mountains with blue-green leaves; widely planted as an ornamental Norway spruce, Picea abies tall pyramidal spruce native to northern Europe having dark green foliage on spreading branches with pendulous branchlets and long pendulous cones Brewer’s spruce, Picea breweriana, weeping spruce medium-sized spruce of California and Oregon having pendulous branches Engelmann spruce, Engelmann’s spruce, Picea engelmannii tall spruce of Rocky Mountains and British Columbia with blue-green needles and acutely conic crown; wood used for rough lumber and boxes Picea glauca, white spruce medium-sized spruce of northeastern North America having short blue-green leaves and slender cones Picea mariana, black spruce, spruce pine small spruce of boggy areas of northeastern North America having spreading branches with dense foliage; inferior wood Picea obovata, Siberian spruce tall spruce of northern Europe and Asia; resembles Norway spruce Picea sitchensis, Sitka spruce a large spruce that grows only along the northwestern coast of the United States and Canada; has sharp stiff needles and thin bark; the wood has a high ratio of strength to weight Picea orientalis, oriental spruce evergreen tree of the Caucasus and Asia Minor used as an ornamental having pendulous branchlets Colorado blue spruce, Colorado spruce, Picea pungens, silver spruce tall spruce with blue-green needles and dense conic crown; older trees become columnar with lower branches sweeping downward Picea rubens, eastern spruce, red spruce, yellow spruce medium-sized spruce of eastern North America; chief lumber spruce of the area; source of pulpwood Canadian hemlock, Tsuga canadensis, eastern hemlock, spruce pine common forest tree of the eastern United States and Canada; used especially for pulpwood Carolina hemlock, Tsuga caroliniana medium-sized evergreen of southeastern United States having spreading branches and widely diverging cone scales Tsuga mertensiana, black hemlock, mountain hemlock large evergreen of western United States; wood much harder than Canadian hemlock Pacific hemlock, Tsuga heterophylla, west coast hemlock, western hemlock tall evergreen of western North America; commercially important timber tree Oregon fir, Oregon pine, Pseudotsuga menziesii, douglas hemlock, douglas pine, douglas spruce, green douglas fir lofty douglas fir of northwestern North America having short needles and egg-shaped cones Pseudotsuga macrocarpa, big-cone douglas fir, big-cone spruce douglas fir of California having cones 4-8 inches long Cupressus goveniana, gowen cypress small sometimes shrubby tree native to California; often used as an ornamental; in some classification systems includes the pygmy cypress and the Santa Cruz cypress Cupressus goveniana pigmaea, Cupressus pigmaea, pygmy cypress rare small cypress native to northern California; sometimes considered the same species as gowen cypress Cupressus abramsiana, Cupressus goveniana abramsiana, Santa Cruz cypress rare California cypress taller than but closely related to gowen cypress and sometimes considered the same species Arizona cypress, Cupressus arizonica Arizona timber tree with bluish silvery foliage Cupressus guadalupensis, Guadalupe cypress relatively low wide-spreading endemic on Guadalupe Island; cultivated for its bluish foliage Cupressus macrocarpa, Monterey cypress tall California cypress endemic on Monterey Bay; widely used for ornament as well as reforestation and shelterbelt planting Cupressus lusitanica, Mexican cypress, Portuguese cypress, cedar of Goa tall spreading evergreen found in Mexico having drooping branches; believed to have been introduced into Portugal from Goa Cupressus sempervirens, Italian cypress, Mediterranean cypress tall Eurasian cypress with thin grey bark and ascending branches Austrocedrus chilensis, Chilean cedar a small South American evergreen having coppery bark and pretty foliage Calocedrus decurrens, Libocedrus decurrens, incense cedar, red cedar tall tree of the Pacific coast of North America having foliage like cypress and cinnamon-red bark Atlantic white cedar, Chamaecyparis thyoides, coast white cedar, southern white cedar, white cedar, white cypress slow-growing medium-sized cedar of east coast of the United States; resembles American arborvitae Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, Lawson’s cedar, Lawson’s cypress, Oregon cedar, Port Orford cedar large timber tree of western North America with trunk diameter to 12 feet and height to 200 feet Alaska cedar, Chamaecyparis nootkatensis, Nootka cypress, yellow cedar, yellow cypress tall evergreen of the Pacific coast of North America often cultivated for ornament Cryptomeria japonica, Japan cedar, Japanese cedar, sugi tall evergreen of Japan and China yielding valuable soft wood incense cedar any of several attractive trees of southwestern South America and New Zealand and New Caledonia having glossy evergreen leaves and scented wood Libocedrus plumosa, kawaka New Zealand timber tree resembling the cypress Libocedrus bidwillii, mountain pine, pahautea evergreen tree of New Zealand resembling the kawaka Thuja plicata, canoe cedar, red cedar, western red cedar large valuable arborvitae of northwestern United States American arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis, northern white cedar, white cedar small evergreen of eastern North America having tiny scalelike leaves on flattened branchlets Oriental arborvitae, Platycladus orientalis, Thuja orientalis Asiatic shrub or small tree widely planted in United States and Europe; in some classifications assigned to its own genus Thujopsis dolobrata, hiba arborvitae slow-growing medium-large Japanese evergreen used as an ornamental Araucaria araucana, chile pine, monkey puzzle large Chilean evergreen conifer having intertwined branches and bearing edible nuts Araucaria excelsa, Araucaria heterophylla, norfolk island pine evergreen of Australia and Norfolk Island in the South Pacific Araucaria columnaris, new caledonian pine very tall evergreen of New Caledonia and the New Hebrides similar to norfolk island pine Araucaria bidwillii, bunya bunya, bunya bunya tree Australian conifer bearing two-inch seeds tasting like roasted chestnuts; among the aborigines the tree is hereditary property protected by law Araucaria cunninghamii, Moreton Bay pine, hoop pine pine of Australia and New Guinea; yields a valuable light even-textured wood Agathis australis, kauri, kaury tall timber tree of New Zealand having white straight-grained wood Agathis alba, Agathis dammara, amboina pine, amboyna pine native to the Moluccas and Philippines; a source of dammar resin Agathis robusta, dundathu pine, queensland kauri, smooth bark kauri Australian timber tree resembling the kauri but having wood much lighter in weight and softer Agathis lanceolata, red kauri New Zealand tree with glossy leaves and scaly reddish-brown bark California nutmeg, Torreya californica, nutmeg-yew California evergreen having a fruit resembling a nutmeg but with a strong turpentine flavor Torrey tree, Torreya taxifolia, stinking cedar, stinking yew rare small evergreen of northern Florida; its glossy green leaves have an unpleasant fetid smell when crushed Phyllocladus asplenifolius, celery top pine, celery-topped pine medium tall celery pine of Tasmania Phyllocladus trichomanoides, tanekaha medium tall celery pine of New Zealand Alpine celery pine, Phyllocladus alpinus small shrubby celery pine of New Zealand English yew, Old World yew, Taxus baccata predominant yew in Europe; extraordinarily long-lived and slow growing; one of the oldest species in the world California yew, Pacific yew, Taxus brevifolia, western yew small or medium irregularly branched tree of the Pacific coast of North America; yields fine hard close-grained wood Japanese yew, Taxus cuspidata shrubby hardy evergreen of China and Japan having lustrous dark green foliage; cultivated in the eastern United States Florida yew, Taxus floridana small bushy yew of northern Florida having spreading branches and very narrow leaves Austrotaxus spicata, New Caledonian yew large yew native to New Caledonia; cultivated in eastern Australia and New Zealand and Hawaii Pseudotaxus chienii, white-berry yew yew of southeastern China, differing from the Old World yew in having white berries Type of: gymnospermous tree any tree of the division Gymnospermophyta