Deciduous trees havebroadleaves. Broad leaveshave large surfaces sothey can gather a lot ofsunlight. However, a tree with flat, wide leaves also loses a lot of water through transpiration where water evaporates from the surface of the leaf.
Deciduous treeleaves often turnbright colors in thefall.
And most drop theirleaves in winter orduring long periodswithout rain.
A tree drops its leaves when it is cold or dry in orderto save energy. It takes a lot of energy for a tree tokeep wide broad green and healthy. Deciduous forest during winter
Deciduous trees have flowers and reproduce fromseeds.A few havebrightlycoloredflowers in thespring butmost do not.Most have male and female flowers that are dulland green, the same color as the tree so we do noteven notice them.
These male flowers from ared oak are long, skinnyand green. They hangdownward from newbranches in springproducing pollen.When they fall off, themale flowers sometimelook like big green wormson the ground.Female flowers form later than male flowers and arenot visible to the naked eye.
When pollen from the male flower fertilizes thefemale flower, seeds develop. The seeds on adeciduous tree usually grow inside its fruit or in ahard shell for protection likethese acorns on a red oak tree.
The seeds are often dispersed when the fruits or nutsare eaten by animals. Since the seeds inside the fruitor shell are not digestible, the animal eventuallypasses them through its droppings often away fromthe parent tree. This increases the chance for aseedling to grow in an area that is not shadowed byits parent.
Lastly we will consider the:deciduous conifers
Coniferous trees grow up instead of out like adeciduous tree and are shaped like a triangle. Theleaves are usually long, pointy needles. Spruce Fir Pine
The cones of the conifers are very important to theconiferous tree because it is there that the treemakes and shelters its seeds.Cones are made up of many scales that serve toprotect the seeds.
Female cone Most coniferous trees have both male and female cones. Female cones contain eggs. Male cones are small and soft. They produce (make) pollen. Once the pollen is released, male cones shrivel and die. When the egg is pollinated a seed Male cone develops
When its time, thePine cone with seeds. scales of the cone open and the seeds fall to the ground.
Coniferous trees with their longneedle like leaves thrive wheresummers are short and cool andwinters long and harsh, withheavy snowfall that can last aslong as 6 months.
These needles are prettyamazing adaptations. Itis their long thin shapeand wax covering thatslows down evaporationso the tree doesnt losemuch water. It is thisadaptation that allowstrees with needles togrow in areas where it iscold most of the yearand where there is littleprecipitation.
Conifer trees do lose theirleaves but only a few at atime and these are quicklyreplaced. Since theygenerally live in colderareas of the world, theyalways have some leavesso as soon as it warms upand the sun shines, theycan make food.
Coniferous treesare triangularshaped and thebranches aresoft and flexible.As a result snowslides off thetree withoutbreaking itslimbs.
This presentation may help youunderstand why forests of deciduousand conifer trees are found in particularregions where the climate suits theirleaves (or vice versa).