Evergreen trees, like pines and firs, and deciduous trees, such as oaks and maples, have different systems for winter survival. Moisture that is available to the roots of a tree during warm weather is unavailable when the ground is frozen, and the dark winter months reduce energy produced during photosynthesis. Evergreen trees manage to continue producing oxygen and energy through the winter, while deciduous trees must lose their leaves and enter a period of dormancy.
Why Evergreens Are Ever Green
The waxy coating and small size of evergreen needles reduce moisture and energy loss and protects the tree through cold, harsh weather. The needlesâ?? shape also prevents cellular rupture caused when moisture freezes inside the cell membranes. The pyramid shape of many evergreen trees sheds snowfall more readily, reducing the treeâ??s direct contact with damaging ice.
What Makes Leaves Fall In The Fall
Unlike the slim needles of evergreen trees, the broad leaves of deciduous trees are more susceptible to cold, dry winter winds. If the trees did not drop their leaves in the fall, they would succumb to moisture loss and die. Losing their leaves allows the trees to become dormant, resting and conserving energy during those months when energy-giving sunlight is scarce. In the spring and summer, the wide leaves absorb the sunâ??s energy more readily, producing enough energy to sustain the tree through the winter.
Are Trees Holding Their Breath?
Photosynthesis is the process that uses sunlight to create green leaves and produce energy. Respiration, the process that trees use to absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, comes to a standstill when photosynthesis is not happening. Evergreen trees will continue to produce oxygen throughout the winter. Deciduous trees do not produce oxygen while they are dormant, except in some green twigs or bark.
How Can We Survive With Less Oxygen In Winter?
Only one hemisphere of the earth is experiencing winter while the other half is having summer. Worldwide, about the same number of deciduous trees are actively producing oxygen year round. In tropical climates, trees do not become dormant and continue to produce oxygen all year. Trees make only about half of the worldâ??s oxygen, with the rest coming from phytoplankton living in the ocean. Therefore, the amount of available oxygen stays consistent throughout the year. Evergreen and deciduous trees are fascinating in their modes of winter survival. Through their different adaptations, they continue to give valuable oxygen year-round.
Peter Wendt is a freelance article writer and he enjoys to watch nature and being outside in the wild, if you like to find out more about this topic click here