Video:Common North American Trees With Single Needleswith Jacob Taxis
There are different types of single-needled trees from all across North America, all with recognizable distinguishing features. This forestry video from About.com will describe some of the most common North American trees with single needles.See Transcript
Transcript:Common North American Trees With Single Needles
Hi, I'm Jacob Taxis for About.com. In this video, you will learn about common North American trees with single needles.
List of Single Needle Trees
Though common in number, there is nothing common about their beauty. Single needle trees are magnificent in both appearance and stature. Here are some of the species that you are most likely to come across in North America:
- Black Spruce
- Englemann Spruce
- Sitka Spruce
- White Spruce
- Red Spruce
- Balsam Fir
- California Red Fir
- Pacific Silver Fir
- Grand Fir
- Noble Fir
- White Fir
- Fraser Fir
- Douglas Fir
- Eastern Hemlock
- Western Hemlock
Today, we'll be looking at five single needle trees: Western hemlock, Sitka spruce, Douglas fir, Balsam fir, and Black spruce.
Commong Single Needle Trees: Western Hemlock
First, Western hemlock. You'll find four species of hemlock in North America—two of which are found in the western portion of the continent. Western hemlock needles are wider and shorter than others—usually around 3/4 of an inch long. They are green with noticeable round tips and, on the underbelly of the needle, there are two white lines. The overall shape of the tree is narrowly conical—meaning it the shape is very similar to that of a narrow cone.
Commong Single Needle Trees: Sitka Spruce
Next, Sitka spruce. Naturally found along the western coast of North America, Sitka spruce can easily grow to well over 200 feet tall. Their needles are bluish-green in color and, though they are four-sided, they appear very flat. Two white lines can be found along the upper surface of the needle as well as on the lower surface. The needles themselves run spirally along the twig and are attached by small pegs. These pegs remain even when the needles fall off. Also, Sitka spruce cones are reddish-brown.
Commong Single Needle Trees: Douglas Fir
Third, Douglas fir. Like the Western hemlock, the Doug fir has a narrow, conical shape. There are five species, three of these are found in North America. The length of Douglas Fir needles ranges between 3/4 and 1 1/4 inches. As for color, the needles move from yellow-green to blue-green and are very fragrant, especially where the tips of the needles appear rounded off. The cones of the Douglas fir are woody and textured with small sharp points.
Commong Single Needle Trees: Balsam Fir
Fourth, Balsam fir. Commonly found in the northeastern U.S and nearly the entire eastern half of Canada, the Balsam fir has very flat needles. They're easily mistaken for Eastern hemlock, but are longer and grow closer together on each twig.
Commong Single Needle Trees: Black Spruce
Finally, Black spruce. The Black spruce is a small but strong tree with short blue-green needles that are slightly rounded off at the ends. They're very stiff and grow in various directions from the twigs. It's found in pockets in the U.S. and is very common in Canada.
Needles actually retain heat and water much longer than leaves do. Like leaves, needles are the tree's centers for food production. When you're out identifying single needle trees, it helps to have a field guide -- this way you'll be able to distinguish specific trees and appreciate the diversity that single needle trees have to offer.
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