NextPrevious

Plant Diversity

Tracheophytes—gymnosperms

Do pine trees keep their needles forever?

Pine needles occur in groups, called fascicles, of two to five needles. A few species have only one needle per fascicle, while others have as many as eight. Regardless of the number of needles, a fascicle forms a cylinder of short shoots that are surrounded at their base by small, scalelike leaves that usually fall off after one year of growth. The needle-bearing fascicles are also shed a few at a time, usually every two to ten years, so that any pine tree, while appearing evergreen, has a complete change of needles every five years or less. Only a few native conifers shed all of their leaves in the fall—the bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) and the Larch (Larix larcina).



Close

This is a web preview of the "The Handy Biology Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App