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Name: J. R.
Status: student
Age: 15
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1/15/2004


Question:
What type of evergreen tree looses its needles?


Replies:
If the tree is "evergreen" then by definition it does NOT lose needles. A few coniferous - the distinction is in the method of producing seeds - trees are deciduous, which means losing leaves in some part of the seasonal cycle, usually winter. In the northeastern U.S. we have tamarack, in the southeast bald cypress, and in the northwest larches.

J. Elliott


Tamarack or larch (Larix laricina) is an example of a conifer ("evergreen") that is deciduous (loses its needles in the autumn).

http://forestry.msu.edu/uptreeid/Species/tamarack.htm

Also technically even "evergreen" trees lose their needles but the new needles are already in place:

http://www.realtrees4kids.org/board/?topic=topic1&msg=29

Anthony R. Brach


You can look for a good answer to this in any dendrology text, either at your school or the local library.

In short, larches (genus Larix) are deciduous conifers. There are others in various areas of the world.

It is interesting to note that even those conifers which are not classified as 'deciduous'... that even they lose needles after a few years. You may have seen white pines, particularly in September/October, losing some of the older needles while retaining the rest of the canopy. The needles, which function to produce sugar and eventually wood, do not live forever, and each year a small part of the canopy is shed, having been replaced or expanded by growth in the spring of the prior and the spring to follow.

Thanks for using NEWTON!

Ric Rupnik



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