• Austin Campbell

What makes conifers special

They stay green all year around. They have the ability to do this because of the waxy coating on the outside to their leaves. Ice crystals cannot form in the cells of the leaves they only form between the cells causing a little damage to the actual cell membrane. They keep their leaves all year around because of the needle or scale like structure of the leaf. This leaf structure minimizes water loss and as an added layer of protection to Highwinds and cold weather. In some species of conifers large concentrations of sugar and other compounds are put into the leaf to further add to protection. Conifers are also very fire resistant in fact some species of conifers rely on fire to spread their seeds. Most conifers are made of soft bendy wood with branches that point downward so that snow can easily fall off of them without breaking any of the branches. Some conifers have a super thick bark to protect the cambium, the layer in the tree that creates secondary growth. Other conifers can re-sprout from the roots when badly damaged by fire.The root systems are wide and shallow this allows conifers to grow in rocky and sandy areas. All the special futures have allowed and will continue to allow conifers to live and thrive in many diverse ecosystems. Conifers are very special and important trees and I hope we can all see that now.

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