The botanical term “evergreen” is used to describe trees which have leaves all year long and tend to remain green. While the term includes many different types of trees, most conifers are considered to be evergreen. Properly classified evergreen conifers belong to the division Pinophyta. Members of this division are popularly known as pine cone trees. Most evergreen conifers are found in the northern hemisphere because the cooler climates are much better suited for their growth. There are relatively few species within the Pinophyta division, but the few within the division are of great ecological importance.
Evergreen conifers are generally tall trees with monopodial growth forms, which means that evergreen conifers generally consist of one tree trunk with multiple branches sticking out. They are always woody plants with long, thin, and needle-like leaves. The leaves of an evergreen conifer may be broad and flat or they may form a spiral pattern. The size of these leaves may be as small as 2 mm or may reach a remarkable 400 mm.
The reproduction of the evergreen conifer revolves around its signature pine cones. The conifer cone is the organ of the conifer that contains its reproductive system. The female cone is generally large, woody, and produces seeds while the pollinating male cone is smaller and herbaceous. The reproductive cycle of an evergreen conifer can range anywhere from 1 to 3 years depending on the species in question. As the trees mature the cones open up and release the seeds into the atmosphere. These then produce even more evergreen conifers and continue the process.
As conifers grow they can reach relatively large sizes compared to many other trees. Evergreen conifers can easily reach a height of 600 M under the right conditions. This growth happens over the span of years and usually goes into multiple decades before finally ending. In fact, evergreens, and trees in general, tend to be some of the longest living organisms on planet Earth. Most evergreen conifers will live for centuries at a time. In some extreme cases evergreen conifers have managed to live for thousands of years.