Coniferous or evergreen
trees grow straight toward the sky and have a triangular shape.
This makes the conifer tree strong and keeps its branches from
breaking under the weight of snow.
The leaves on a
coniferous tree are either pointed needles or small, flat
scales. The needles or
scales will stay on the tree for several years, falling off
Seeds of coniferous trees and shrubs grow in cones. When a cone
opens its scales, the seeds fall out. There are over 500 species
of conifers and include the largest and oldest of all living
things. Canada has 34 different species of conifers. Vancouver
Island Has 14 of these species.
Common examples of conifers are firs, spruces, cedars and pines
and they can be identified by their needles. The firs have short
needles with blunt tips. Spruces have four-sided needles that
are very sharp and pines have needles that grow in bunches,
wrapped together at the base, cedars have flat needles.