There are two different kinds of trees that we see in Indiana, deciduous trees and conifers. Conifers, or evergreens, are the pine and fir trees that keep their foliage all year long; while deciduous trees are those that lose their foliage in the winter seasons. Continue reading to learn more about conifers and deciduous trees, and how the winter weather can affect them both.
Conifers are also called softwoods or evergreen trees. The popular species of these trees in Indiana are the Northern White Cedar and Junipers. The term conifer refers to the type of “fruit” that the tree grows. These are usually the pine cones or woody cones we see at certain times of the year; although some conifers, like Junipers, bore tiny berry-like fruits that are not meant to be consumed by humans or pets. Softwoods have needle-like foliage, often green in color, but can range from yellows to oranges, and even shades of blue. The differences among species of conifers is their branch and bud distribution, needle color, yielded fruits, tree size, and more. In the winter, these species of tree do not shed their foliage, nor does their foliage change in color. They remain “ever-green” all year long! So in conclusion, conifers are not significantly affected by winter weather, but they do prepare for winter seasons by storing up extra water and nutrients in the soil surrounding their root systems.
The term “deciduous” literally means to “fall off at maturity” or “tending to fall off”, which refers to their foliage loss in winter climates. Every autumn, deciduous trees change leaf color, and then lose their leaves, leaving their branches exposed and bare. This process is called abscission. Although the foliage may be gone for now, they tree is not dead, but simply dormant. It will await the start of spring to bloom more buds and regrow its leaves. There are several species of deciduous trees, ranging in size, color, shape, smell, fruits, and more. Examples of such trees include Maple trees, Ash trees, willow trees, apple trees, oak trees, and cherry blossoms. Trees are not the only deciduous plant in nature. Shrubs, herbaceous perennials, and some plants also experience abscission.
Be sure to protect your landscaping trees this winter by laying down an extra layer of mulch or soil before the freeze-thaw cycles begin and before the first big snowfall. Also, water your trees as much as possible leading up to deep winter. This way, they have plenty of excess water and nutrients to keep them healthy while dormant. You may also want to apply soil additives for additional nutritional value. This is helpful and recommended for newly planted trees or young trees. Contact a professional tree service company for industry advice and information you can trust.