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Coniferous Tree Species


    • Pine trees are the most common type of coniferous tree. These trees have long, narrow needles that are arranged in clusters of two, three or five needles. Red pine trees have two, dark green needles per cluster that are 4 to 6 inches long. They have smooth, oval-shaped cones that are 1.5 to 2.5 inches long, and grow an average of 90 feet tall. The loblolly pine trees have three, yellow-green needles per cluster. They have spiked, cylinder-shaped cones that are 3 to 6 inches long, and grow up to 100 feet tall. The white pine trees have five, blue-green needles per cluster that are 2 to 4 inches long. They have cylinder-shaped cones with 50 to 80 scales, and grow from 98 to 164 ft tall.


    • Fir trees, also known as balsam firs, have flat, soft needles that are approximately 1 inch long and aromatic. Unlike Douglas-firs and Chinese-firs, true fir trees have tiny pockets of resin inside the bark, and have short, stiff branches. These trees have 2-inch, oval-shaped cones that grow face-up on the upper branches as opposed to many other conifer trees, and once mature the cones will disintegrate and release wind-borne seeds. Fir tree bark is smooth and gray when young, but it then develops a rough and scaly surface with age.


    • Spruce trees have stiff, sharp-pointed needles that are glossy dark-green and approximately 1 inch long. Spruce needles are typically square and can be found protruding from a small woody peg. The cones are similar to pine tree cones, but spruce cones hang down low and their scales are thinner and more flexible. Young cones are dark purple, whereas matured cones are reddish-brown. The spruce bark is thin and scaly with a reddish-brown coloring that becomes scaly and furrowed with age.


    • Hemlock trees have short, flat, 1-inch needles that protrude from small rounded pegs. These trees have small cone-shaped cones that are less than an inch long and feature thin, reddish-brown scales. Hemlock bark is relatively thin with a brown to almost black coloring. With age, the bark features flattened ridges and has a dark red inner bark with purple streaks. These trees have distinctive droopy branches and grow upwards of 200 feet tall and 4 feet in diameter.


    • Cedar trees are slow growing and only reach about 60 feet tall. Cedar trees have flat, fern-like needles that form in spiral clusters from short, woody pegs. The needles are medium to dark green and are 2 inches long. Cedar cones are typically barrel-shaped and have small elongated scales. These cones are around 4 inches long and once matured, disintegrate to release winged seeds. Cedar bark is highly aromatic and has a thick, square-cracked design and thick ridges.

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