Any tree company in Ocean County knows how hard it is for any tree to survive winter. Last month we discussed how deciduous trees do it. By dropping leaves, non-evergreen trees can go into a state similar to hibernation. Conifers, on the other hand, stay green all year long. Why do some trees need to lose their leaves in order to survive winter and others do not? Let’s take a closer look at conifers, their leaves, and their shape to understand how they make it through months of cold temperatures and reduced resources. It is because of these adaptations that you find many conifers in mountain regions and colder climates.
Conifers At a Glance
Conifers are commonly referred to as pine trees. While all pine trees are conifers, not all conifers are pine trees. That being said, a majority of the conifer family is made up of pine tree varieties that many people recognize like spruce trees and cypress trees.
A conifer is any type of plant that has a cone. While most people will bring up a picture of a pine cone in their mind when we say that, all cones do not look alike. Some trees have what appear to berries but are actually tightly compacted scales like Juniper trees. Others, like yews, have a cone that looks more like a fruit. What these cones all have in common is that the seeds of these trees are not encased in a fruit, but are bare on the tree.
All conifers are not green and not all conifers are evergreen. There are blue spruces and golden cypress’ and just about every other color you can think of. If you’ve been wanting to add some year-round color to your yard, contact any great tree company in Ocean County (like us) will be able to give you some recommendations. Just as not all evergreens are green, not all ever greens are “ever green.” There are a few species that actually do lose their needles in winter such as the dawn redwood and larch trees.
The shape of conifers is another area where there is some misconception. Just as most people will think of a pinecone when you talk about a cone on a tree, many visualize the classic Christmas tree cone shape when you say evergreen tree. Many, many species of conifers do grow in a tall, conical shape, but not all. There are traditional cones, broad or upright ovals, globes, and mounding varieties.
Hold Onto Your Needles, Winter is Coming
Deciduous trees lose their leaves every winter as a way to conserve energy and protect themselves. Coniferous trees, however, survive the winter by holding onto their needles. The reason needles stay and leaves go has a lot to do with the waxy, outer coating of needles. This covering is called cutin . This not only helps to slow water loss during periods of reduced inputs, but performs photosynthesis with less water. Less water inside and out helps protect the needles, and therefore the tree, from freezing and dying. Plus, these trees have a continuous source of energy throughout the winter in contrast to deciduous trees which do not. The shape and covering of needles also make it difficult for snow to stick to branches which reduces damage during winter storms.
In addition, because conifers don’t drop their needles, when spring comes, they do not need to expend tons and tons of energy growing new ones. There are, of course, some needles that do die and fall off, but they are quickly replaced by new, healthy needles. Needle drop happens at different times and different rates for every species of conifer. Some lose them all at once, like a deciduous, but grow them back before winter. Certain varieties will hold on to needles for 2-5 years, others for 5-7. If you have a conifer in your yard that starts to turn yellow every fall, don’t panic! It could be normal loss of old needles. Not sure if it’s normal for your tree? Give a tree company in Ocean County a call to help figure out if there is a problem.
As a Tree Company in Ocean County, We Love Trees of All Types
No matter what type of trees you have in your yard, deciduous or coniferous, we can help care for them. Oftentimes, new homeowners are not familiar with their trees growing patterns and aren’t sure what is normal and what isn’t. It can take years to get to know your trees, but we can help expedite that. Any time you have a question about the health of one of your trees, give us a call.
Last month we covered a few species of trees and what purpose they can serve in your yard. This month we’re going to continue this thread with some more tree species that tree companies in Ocean County love to see in yards. Not all trees need to serve a specific purpose, but if they can add beauty and provide an additional benefit, all the better. We can’t pass up the opportunity to remind all homeowners that professional tree care is the best way to enhance both the beauty and safety of all your trees. No matter what the species or the purpose, weak and sickly trees can be a danger to your property. Tree service is in season all year long so contact us today to get a free estimate on potential tree care in your yard.
Ginkgo Biloba is More Than an Herb
These trees are real beauties. With gorgeous fan-shaped leaves, these trees love the sun and sandy soil of Ocean and Monmouth counties. They are super hearty and Ginkgo Biloba trees are said to have been one of the only trees to survive Hiroshima. If you do any research at all on adding a Ginkgo tree to your yard, you are very likely to find out that the fruit of the female Ginkgo tree has a very foul odor. Thus, many homeowners that want to add one of these pretty trees to their landscape choose a male-only cultivator like the Autumn Gold Gingko.
Ginkgo trees are slow-growers and make great shade trees. In addition, they are often found lining city streets due to their high-tolerance to stressors. They are also resistant to many pests and diseases. They can reach a height of 50 to 80 feet depending on the species. As far as tree care goes, these trees are fairly low-maintenance and can thrive in almost any kind of soil.
Tree Companies in Ocean County are Very Familiar with the Flowering Dogwood
When many think of an ornamental tree, they often think of topiary-type trees. But when it comes to adding beauty and interest to a yard, no tree does it better than the Flowering Dogwood. Coming in varieties of white, pink, and red, these trees bloom in the spring and show off vivid colors in the fall. People aren’t the only ones who enjoy the Dogwood tree. Wildlife is attracted to these trees’ beautiful red berries. Dogwood trees are mostly known as under-canopy trees preferring shade to full-sun. However, with excellent care by its owner along with professional care by tree companies in Ocean County like Ben Bivins Tree Experts.
These favorite trees grow to be on average about 30 feet tall and spread about 30 feet wide so be sure to give them plenty of space. They require minimal care once well-established so are great for all homeowners. They do not need a lot of pruning or trimming and demand little interference in terms of fertilization. There is not much bad to say about a flowering dogwood so if you need a pretty, sturdy, easy tree for your yard, check out this species.
This Lesser-Known Tree is Perfect for Ocean County Yards
The Golden Rain Tree is a deciduous tree. It is used effectively as both a shade tree and a point of visual interest in a yard. These trees flower from early to mid-summer with clusters of yellow blooms. Not much else is flowering at this time and the yellow color is especially rare for a tree. These blooms attract bees. This can be a positive for some, but may be a reason to avoid these trees for others.
Growing up to thirty feet tall and thirty feet wide, it doesn’t have much preference to soil type. They do prefer full sun, but can do just fine in partial shade. To help with this these trees are fairly drought-tolerant. In addition to that, they are not bothered by city pollutants and is resistant to many pests and diseases. This hardiness makes it great for private properties and a popular choice for street trees. As far as care, the Golden Rain tree won’t require you to call tree companies in Barnegat often at all. Their roots very rarely cause issues for hardscaping and don’t need much trimming unless it is damaged.
Tree Companies in Barnegat Love Trees of All Kinds
We could continue to discuss species after species of tree month after month. Because we, like all tree companies in Ocean County, love trees of all kinds. We are happy to be able to provide experienced, expert tree care for properties all over Ocean and Monmouth counties. If you’ve been neglecting your trees, give us a call today!