Coniferous Trees, Pacific Northwest
Coniferous Trees grow straight and tall and have a upside down cone shape. This makes the conifer tree strong and keeps its branches from breaking under the weight of snow.
The leaves on a coniferous tree are either pointed needles or small, flat scales. The needles or scales will stay on the tree for several years, falling off gradually.
Seeds of coniferous trees and shrubs grow in cones. When a cone opens its scales, the seeds fall out. There are over 500 species of conifers and include the largest and oldest of all living things. Canada has 34 different species of conifers. Some cones will only open after a forest fire has heated them up, a sure way to reforest after a natural fire.
Common examples of conifers are firs, spruces, cedars and pines and they can be identified by their needles. The firs have short needles with soft tips. Spruces have square needles that are very sharp and pines have needles that grow in bunches, wrapped together at the base, you can tell a pine by the number of needles in a bunch, cedars have flat needles.