Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower. – Albert Camus
Just like people, season do change. And trees vary their growth by season. Let’s find out what kind of trees shed their leaves and which doesn’t.
Autumn, the time when bright heat gives way to subtle cool, when green leaves transform to oranges, reds, and yellows. Autumn, is the third season of the year, coming after summer and before winter, and coinciding with the dropping of leaves from the trees as they go into a winter rest, which is why it’s also called fall.
Trees shed their leaves during autumn as cold weather approaches. In tropical and subtropical forests, trees shed their leaves at the onset of the dry season. Trees that lose all their leaves for part of the year are known as deciduous trees. Those that don’t are called evergreen trees.
There are two opposite types of trees. Deciduous and evergreen they are categorized by pattern and seasonality of their foliage growth. Plants between deciduous and evergreen are known as semi-deciduous trees. They have characteristics of both.
What are deciduous trees?
Deciduous is a term that refers to trees which seasonally shed their unnecessary parts, such as leaves, from their structure. Most deciduous trees are broad leaf trees. Because of the structure of the leaves and the pattern of leaf arrangement, the effectiveness of photosynthesis is very high in deciduous trees. Unfortunately, deciduous trees have both positive and negative aspects to them. Since they shed their leaves seasonally (during autumn and winter usually), they are very susceptible to wind and other winter weather conditions.
The falling of the leaves helps them prepare for winter conditions. It ensures better survival in winter as well as high water conservation and protection against predatory actions. Deciduous tree characteristics are observable in many woody trees like oak and maple. There are two characteristic deciduous forests where the majority of trees shed their foliage at the end of their typical growing season. These are temperate deciduous forests and tropical (and subtropical) deciduous forests. Trees in temperate deciduous forests are sensitive to the seasonal temperature variations whereas the tropical deciduous trees respond to seasonal rainforest patterns.
What are evergreen trees?
The evergreen tree is a complete contrast to the deciduous tree. As the name implies, an evergreen’s foliage remains on the tree throughout the entire year. There is no seasonal leaf shedding. Evergreen plants have a huge deviation within them. They include most conifers and angiosperms such as hemlock, cycads, and eucalyptus trees.
This does not mean that evergreens never shed their foliage. Old leaves of evergreen trees are replaced by new growth as they age. Evergreen trees favor warm, temperate climates. Many tropical rainforests are considered evergreens.
Consider this season as the time where we have to let go of our hurt feelings, just like deciduous trees let go of their leaves. And treasure memories in our lives just like evergreen trees keep its leaves remain on its branches.