What Exactly Are Conifers?

What are conifers?

Pine Nuts

Pine Nuts

Conifers are the most common type of softwood trees in the United States.  Softwoods are classified as gymnosperms, Greek meaning ‘naked seed’. That’s because they release uncovered seeds that are often grown on cones. Seeds from pine trees, a conifer, have become popular as healthy alternative to other nuts.

Conifers have needles but they are technically considered leaves. Conifer is Latin for Cone Bearer.  Conifers also contain sap that spreads water & nutrients throughout the tree.

All conifers have cones but not all conifers are evergreens.  Dawn Redwood is a good example of a conifer that is not an evergreen.  They lose their needles in winter. Despite that, Dawn Redwood trees still produces cones.

Bald Cypress is another conifer that is deciduous, meaning it loses needles (goes ‘bald’) in winter.

Pine Tree NeedlesSome of the most popular conifer varieties sold online for homeowners include Pine, Fir, Cypress, Arborvitae (thuja) & Spruce trees. Among the most popular for landscaping purposes are:

Eastern White Pine

Leyland Cypress

Cryptomeria Radicans

Green Giant Arborvitae (thuja)

Black Hills Spruce

Douglas Fir